Faith and gray matter: New study finds no relationship between brain structure and religiosity


Religion and neurology often seem at odds; an extension of the questionable chasm separating spirituality and science. Indeed, in attempting to explain religious faith, neuroscientists have often sought to highlight subtle differences in brain structure that might confirm a deficiency here or reduction there. A new, preregistered study out of the Netherlands, published in the … Read more

Study of Catholic sisters helps point to the neurological correlates of prayer and mindfulness


Prayer is not often couched in terms of meditation and mindfulness, although the two states share many behavioral and psychological similarities. Both involve mental calm, for example, as well as introspection, daily or regular observation, and certain contextual and behavioral practices, like sitting still in a quiet space. Likewise, little research has been devoted to … Read more

Religion mitigates feelings of depression by providing a sense of meaning, study suggests


It has often been said that surrendering to a higher power can bring happiness, and this is certainly a sentiment shared by many followers of faiths around the world. A new study published in Trends in Psychology has provided empirical evidence for this claim by examining the relationship between religiosity and depression symptoms among 279 … Read more

Research sheds light on the cultural and psychological correlates of religion


Psychology is one of the foremost scientific methods for understanding the phenomenon of organized religion and its cognitive, emotional, moral and social dimensions. To explore how these psychological elements map onto and mediate the subjective religious experience, an international team of researchers investigated consistencies and differences within and across cultures from 14 different countries. Previous … Read more