Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We propose an integrative cognitive neuroscience framework for understanding the cognitive and neural foundations of religious belief. Our analysis reveals 3 psychological dimensions of religious belief (God's perceived level of involvement, God's perceived emotion, and doctrinal/experiential religious knowledge), which functional MRI localizes within networks processing Theory of Mind regarding intent and emotion, abstract semantics, and imagery. Our results are unique in demonstrating that specific components of religious belief are mediated by well-known brain networks, and support contemporary psychological theories that ground religious belief within evolutionary adaptive cognitive functions.

Original publication

DOI

10.1073/pnas.0811717106

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date

24/03/2009

Volume

106

Pages

4876 - 4881

Keywords

Adult, Cognition, Emotions, Female, Humans, Knowledge, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nervous System Physiological Phenomena, Religion