Scientists establish link between religious fundamentalism and brain damage
December 31, 2019 at 5:06 pm #29629
A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.
More here.December 31, 2019 at 6:22 pm #29630
It would be interesting to examine the brains of atheists. It would be extra-interesting to see the brain imaging of apostates who were raised by fundamentalists. I predict there is no damage to those areas of the prefrontal cortex. Further, i think said apostates who reject fundamentalism at an early age are well above average in intelligence.December 31, 2019 at 8:27 pm #29631
With a pic of Lindsey Graham, LOLJanuary 7, 2020 at 8:54 am #29682
Looking at AlterNet.org’s stories and advertisements, they seem highly one-sided to the left, and expect to profit from an unusually idiotic and/or gullible audience’s clicks. Sorry for the harsh judgment here, but I’m especially worried that this is the kind of “news org” that encourages people to vote for Democrats who won’t have a chance in hell to beat President Trollump in 2020.
Since the Neuropsychologia article is behind a paywall, readers are expected to just accept AlterNet’s interpretation of it. (“Brain damage”, really? It reminds me of righties calling liberals “libtards”.)
I found an open source link to the article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5500821/January 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm #29683
I think the paper is interesting in its treatment of religious fundamentalism in general; it represents not updating beliefs in light of evidence, non-openness, and cognitive inflexibility. This we already know.
It would be interesting to see the results of other kinds of fundamentalism, like political fundamentalism.
It also raises the question: are there any rational religious people? I.e., is there any evidence that supports being religious? This is really a silly question, because a look at many religious web sites shows us that many religious people agonise all day long about theological questions, and so, it seems that they do take new evidence on board, and therefore, are rational.February 14, 2020 at 9:39 pm #30174
Actually, I think what the research actually showed was that a particular type of penetrating traumatic brain injury is associated with cognitive impairment. No surprise there.
Being cognitively impaired is then associated with higher scores for fundamentalism on some instrument for this very small sample size. That can be spurious, it can be the result of “openness” or non-fundamentalist questions using longer sentences or more complex words that are challenging to someone with a brain injury, or it can be that people in the local area who are fundamentalist are more susceptible to certain types of penetrating brain injury (like farmers working with heavy equipment).
It’s also worth noting that Neuropsychologia has quite a low impact factor for its field.February 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm #30177February 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm #30187
Simon you had announced that Dr. Bob had passed away. What was that all about?February 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm #30190
I really don’t know. Click the link to see the public announcement.February 15, 2020 at 3:31 pm #30191
Perhaps Michael and Doc Bob are one and same.
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