People who are religious or spiritual have 'thicker' brains

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posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 08:55 AM
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People who are religious or spiritual have 'thicker' brains

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...
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The cortex is thicker in people who are religious than in those who aren't

Positive results of thicker brain



This thickening could provide some protection against depression
Suggests being religious enhances the brain's resilience against depression in a physical way


One of my favorite theories is, spirituality or religion is a evolutionary process,

Evolutionary origin of religions
en.wikipedia.org...



Increased brain size

In this set of theories, the religious mind is one consequence of a brain that is large enough to formulate religious and philosophical ideas.[6] During human evolution, the hominid brain tripled in size, peaking 500,000 years ago. Much of the brain's expansion took place in the neocortex. This part of the brain is involved in processing higher order cognitive functions that are connected with human religiosity. The neocortex is associated with self-consciousness, language and emotion[citation needed]. According to Dunbar's theory, the relative neocortex size of any species correlates with the level of social complexity of the particular species. The neocortex size correlates with a number of social variables that include social group size and complexity of mating behaviors. In chimpanzees the neocortex occupies 50% of the brain, whereas in modern humans it occupies 80% of the brain.

Robin Dunbar argues that the critical event in the evolution of the neocortex took place at the speciation of archaic homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion. The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.[7]

Stephen Jay Gould suggests that religion may have grown out of evolutionary changes which favored larger brains as a means of cementing group coherence among savannah hunters, after that larger brain enabled reflection on the inevitability of personal mortality.[8]


There have been quite a few studies that have come to light recently that tend to support this theory.

So if this is true what has caused the thinner cortex?




posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


interesting take on the article.....i don't hvae much to add of any value right now. But want to see where this goes.

Good stuff.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:08 AM
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Prayer Improves Self-Control
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability

www.heritage.org...

In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.

Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital – .


blogs.telegraph.co.uk...

edit on 093131p://bTuesday2014 by Stormdancer777 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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Stormdancer777
One of my favorite theories is, spirituality or religion is a evolutionary process,

Consciousness is all there is - it is one.
Individual is what happens when consciousness questions itself - it appears to be separate from all that is.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 





consciousness questions itself


I like that, interesting.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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reply to post by logical7
 




Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner


Is that scientifically proven?



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Looking forward to it.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Yes, that is quite true. I know from person experience. Repeatedly, I've been told that fact direct in several ways by friends, family and even perfect strangers that I've encountered. they say something such as, "You, sir, are thick-headed," and the like. I'm thinking of offering my brain up to Ebay to be auctioned off when I quit using it. Perhaps in that way, if I take other people's comments even half seriously, it will be finally be useful, my personal humanitarian effort!


+1 more 
posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:19 AM
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logical7
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.


You don't need a God to have a higher purpose.

My "higher purpose" is humanist. I like to help others. Make life better on this planet 1 action at a time.

One thing I have noticed in my 40+ years here on this Earth is that God isn't here to help us. All we got is each other.

edit on 12/31/2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:24 AM
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Stormdancer777



logical7
Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner



Is that scientifically proven?


Lets first seem him explain the term 'cognitive dissonance' ,in terms of the social sciences, before moving on how this is or isn't 'science' . I 'like' the idea that being religious could affect brain structure but i wonder if i should be thanking my great- great grandfather for his virtues thoughts or, in fact, his great great grandfather. EIther way i do sometimes feel that religious people are from a different planet/species so perhaps this could be a first step towards some scientific basis for my 'feelings'!


Stellar



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:27 AM
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Well, maybe the practice of eating fish by Christians is causing the difference in the brain. Until recently not much was proven about the effect of fish on brain development. Jesus's sign is the fish. The tradition of Fish fries on friday originated from Christianity. Lots of our traditions have basis in health. Look at the health benefits from a sip of wine for communion every day.

So now they say that spirituality is doing this to the brain when in fact a change of diet created by cravings induced by spirituality may actually be causing this. If you desire to think a certain way, your body can process nutrients in food a different way to accomodate your desires. We have partial control over these processes but not full control.

I am not disputing this, I am trying to explain one possible way it is happening. S&F.
edit on 31-12-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by StellarX
 


Is it that the thicker brain was a product of your ancestors of something you built up over time yourself because of the thought processes involved in maintaining a spiritual/religious state of mind?

Brains develop and form connections, grow and change over time.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 





] During human evolution, the hominid brain tripled in size, peaking 500,000 years ago.


Wiki has failed to mention that along with this tripling in brain size,
our brain then evolved to become smaller from neanderthals to modern man.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:30 AM
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rickymouse
Well, maybe the practice of eating fish by Christians is causing the difference in the brain. Until recently not much was proven about the effect of fish on brain development. Jesus's sign is the fish. The tradition of Fish fries on friday originated from Christianity. Lots of our traditions have basis in health. Look at the health benefits from a sip of wine for communion every day.

So now they say that spirituality is doing this to the brain when in fact a change of diet created by cravings induced by spirituality may actually be causing this. If you desire to think a certain way, your body can process nutrients in food a different way to accomodate your desires. We have partial control over these processes but not full control.

I am not disputing this, I am trying to explain one possible way it is hapening. S&F.
edit on 31-12-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)


Another great point.

I think we broached this subject recently. I am still very interested in knowing more about your understanding of how food impacts the "greater" human body.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:30 AM
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logical7
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.


What? That article did not compare the functions of the brains of nonbelievers with "lower" animals. Many animals have sharper brain function in certain areas than humans.

Also: Correlation does not equal causation.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 

The fish symbol pre-dates Christianity by a long shot. It is extremely old, and was adopted from other very ancient beliefs.

edit on 12/31/2013 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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Maybe they need to study this a bit further, atm this is opposite what is studied before


Mental illness and religion: Why some people become fanatics
Mental illness is a general term for a wide range of mental problems. Bipolar, depression and schizophrenia are to name but a few. Even though all of these illnesses are uniquely different, there are signs and symptoms that can fit all three.
Fanaticalness plays a key role with depression and bipolar disorder. This is a fact. I have had so many patients who were trying to convert me to their religion, to save me, that I have lost count. They become so obsessed with religion that to the outside world it looks very scary, but to them it seems as normal as brushing your teeth.
Examiner



Spiritual people are more likely to be mentally ill (but at least they think life has more meaning)
Being spiritual may give life deeper meaning, but it can also make you more susceptible to mental illness, new research suggests.
A study found that people professing to be spiritual, but not conventionally religious, were more likely to suffer from a host of mental challenges.
They suffered problems including abnormal eating conditions, drug abuse, anxiety disorder, phobias and neurosis. They were also more likely than others to be taking medication for mental health problems. www.dailymail.co.uk...


Depression is usually the "base" to other mental diseases. Let´s see where this leads tho.
And Fundamentalists are surely thick headed


Golden path.. Feet´s on the ground and head in heavens



edit on 31-12-2013 by dollukka because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:36 AM
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bigfatfurrytexan

logical7
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.


You don't need a God to have a higher purpose.

My "higher purpose" is humanist. I like to help others. Make life better on this planet 1 action at a time.


That's a beautiful thing, thanks for that.


One thing I have noticed in my 40+ years here on this Earth is that God isn't here to help us. All we got is each other.


One thing I've noticed is that God is non-local in time and space. To paraphrase Lao Tzu, the God that is 'here' or 'there' is not the true God.

edit on 31-12-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


It should be noted this also stated "Spirituality". There are way too many religions included to draw a conclusion about diet. Most christians I know doesn't even eat fish often.





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