Science Journal of Psychology

December 2013, Volume 2013, ISSN:2276-6278

Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


The Neurophysiology of Religious Conversion Experiences

Tessa Meyer, B.Sc.

Accepted 26 November, 2013; Available Online 16 December, 2013

doi: 10.7237/sjpsych/230


This paper explores various scientific studies and neurophysiological evidence that describe and authenticate the two main forms of religious conversion: progressive andinstantaneous. Progressive conversion experiences are thought to occur via the Stage Model and are explained by the emotional-cognitive processing theory, while instantaneous conversion experiences have been found to result from seizure-like temporal lobe activity, leading to the localization of the 'God Spot' in the human brain. The potential for religious conversion (and general religiosity) is dependent on both environmental and genetic factors including 'Attachment Theory'- based learning and inheritance of the VMAT2 ('God') gene, respectively.A Christian worldview was applied to the analysis of the information presented in this paper to achieve the following conclusive rational: religious conversion experiences are regulated by neurological mechanisms that exist and operate as a result of genetic and environmental factors which are ultimately controlled by God the Creator.

Keyword:Amygdala, Attachment Theory, Brain Localization, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, Cultural Hitchhiking, Dopamine, Emotional-Cognitive Processing Theory, Epilepsy, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), God Gene Hypothesis, Neural Plasticity, Neurophysiology, Neuropsychology, Nucleus Accumbens, Prefrontal Cortex, Religious Conversion, Stage Model, Temporal Lobe, VMAT2 ('God') Gene