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Re: Selective Brain Damage Modulates Human Spirituality, Research Reveals

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  • Rae
    Thanks so much for this post! This reminds me of Jill Bolte Taylors Stroke of Insight. She wrote a book about her experience with a stroke.. and being a
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 23, 2010
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      Thanks so much for this post!
      This reminds me of Jill Bolte Taylors Stroke of Insight.
      She wrote a book about her experience with a stroke.. and being a neurologist.. she got to see things from both perspectives!
      She had a revelational spiritual experience that brought her to tears when she spoke about it on Ted t.v.
      ted.com has her account.
      -Rae

      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > ScienceDaily (Feb. 11, 2010)
      > New research provides fascinating insight into
      > brain changes that might underlie alterations
      > in spiritual and religious attitudes. The study,
      > published by Cell Press in the February 11
      > issue of the journal Neuron, explores the neural
      > basis of spirituality by studying patients before
      > and after surgery to remove a brain tumor.
      >
      > Although it is well established that all behaviors
      > and experiences, spiritual or otherwise, must
      > originate in the brain, true empirical exploration
      > of the neural underpinnings of spirituality has been
      > challenging. However, recent advances in neuroscience
      > have started to make the complex mental processes
      > associated with religion and spirituality more accessible.
      >
      > "Neuroimaging studies have linked activity within
      > a large network in the brain that connects the frontal,
      > parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual
      > experiences, but information on the causative link
      > between such a network and spirituality is lacking,"
      > explains lead study author, Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from
      > the University of Udine in Italy.
      >
      > Dr. Urgesi and colleagues were interested in making
      > a direct link between brain activity and spirituality.
      > They focused specifically on the personality trait
      > called self-transcendence (ST), which is thought to
      > be a measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and
      > behaviors in humans. ST reflects a decreased sense
      > of self and an ability to identify one's self as an
      > integral part of the universe as a whole.
      >
      > The researchers combined analysis of ST scores
      > obtained from brain tumor patients before and after
      > they had surgery to remove their tumor, with advanced
      > techniques for mapping the exact location of the
      > brain lesions after surgery. "This approach allowed
      > us to explore the possible changes of ST induced by
      > specific brain lesions and the causative role played
      > by frontal, temporal, and parietal structures in
      > supporting interindividual differences in ST," says
      > researcher Dr. Franco Fabbro from the University of
      > Udine.
      >
      > The group found that selective damage to the left
      > and right posterior parietal regions induced a specific
      > increase in ST. "Our symptom-lesion mapping study is
      > the first demonstration of a causative link between
      > brain functioning and ST," offers Dr. Urgesi. "Damage
      > to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast
      > changes of a stable personality dimension related to
      > transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus,
      > dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin
      > altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors."
      >
      > These results may even lead to new strategies for
      > treating some forms of mental illness. "If a stable
      > personality trait like ST can undergo fast changes
      > as a consequence of brain lesions, it would indicate
      > that at least some personality dimensions may be
      > modified by influencing neural activity in specific
      > areas," suggests Dr. Salvatore M. Aglioti from
      > Sapienza University of Rome. "Perhaps novel approaches
      > aimed at modulating neural activity might ultimately
      > pave the way to new treatments of personality disorders."
      >
      > The researchers include Cosimo Urgesi, Universita` di Udine, Udine, Italy, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Eugenio Medea, Pordenone, Italy; Salvatore M. Aglioti, Sapienza Universita` di Roma, Roma, Italy, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Fondazione S. Lucia, Roma, Italy; Miran Skrap, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Santa Maria della Misericordia, Udine, Italy; and Franco Fabbro, Universita` di Udine, Udine, Italy, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Eugenio Medea, Pordenone, Italy.
      >
      > ----------------------------------------------------------------
      > This article was published on the Science Daily
      > web site and is being used in compliance with the Fair Use
      > statutes and not for any commercial purposes
      >
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