Religion on the Brain

The hard science of neurobiology is taking a closer look at the ethereal world of the spirit

Wander down the halls of some neurobiology departments these days and you may catch a few decidedly nonscientific terms floating by in conversations there. Researchers reared in the hard materialism of Western science may well be chatting about Franciscan nuns, the Dalai Lama, the soul, or enduring happiness.

These scholars are part of a small but growing group of metaphysically minded