Friday, November 20, 2020

Andrea D. Steffan - Scientists Establish A Link Between Brain Damage And Religious Fundamentalism

 If there is damage to the prefrontal cortex in an individual then their cognitive flexibility may be impaired. It means that open-mindedness presents a challenge; and since religious fundamentalism involves a strict adherence to a rigid set of beliefs, it would seem like the comfortable option for such an individual.

This is why Dr. Grafman and his team predicted that participants with lesions to this region of the brain would score low on measures of cognitive flexibility and trait openness and high on measures of religious fundamentalism – which they did. These results suggest that damage to the vmPFC (prefrontal cortex region specific to cognitive flexibility) indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by suppressing both cognitive flexibility and openness.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that impaired functioning in the prefrontal cortex—whether from brain trauma, a psychological disorder, a drug or alcohol addiction, or simply a particular genetic profile—can make an individual susceptible to religious fundamentalism.

Andrea D. Steffan - Scientists Establish A Link Between Brain Damage And Religious Fundamentalism

1 comment:

Tom Hickey said...

I think that a difference between religious traditionalism versus religious liberalism needs to be specified. These are technical terms used in the field of religious studies, sociology, etc. Many "fundamentalists" are traditionalists.

The difference between religious conservatism and religious fanaticism also needs specification. Conflating them is inaccurate and prejudicial.

There are also many subsets in these larger sets that should also be specified.

Otherwise, sloppy thinking.

Moreover, there are liberal "fundamentalists" too is "fundamentalism" is defined as a rigid set of beliefs.

In fact, most people have a rigid set of beliefs on which they operate, at least to some degree.

Thus, a lot of groups would be categorized as quasi-religious "fundamentalist," that includes most so-called liberals in the sense of 18th century Western liberalism as a world view.