The link below is from a radio interview from TALK OF THE NATION npr News about religious and spiritual experiences affect our brains.
Dr. Andrew Newberg is the author of "Principles of Neurotheology," and he is the director of research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College. He studies the relationship between the brain and religious experience. In his research, he scanned people’s brains while they are meditating or praying and then he compared what was going on in their brains at that point to what is happening in their brain when they're at rest. He approached that by using SPECT imaging technique that requires putting in a small intravenous catheter in a mediator’s arm. During meditation, he infuses a small amount of radioactive material in order to process images of the brain while meditating. Dr.Newberg found that people who engage in religious and spiritual practices have more active areas in their brains. He also found that during meditation “blood flow increase in the frontal cortex, the place where we are focusing on problems, and decrease in other areas of the brain”. These changes “help to lower the level of anxiety and depression and make us feel better”. They also help us to stay calm even after the meditation.
What do you think of his finding? For people who meditate or engage in religious practices have you experience the same outcome (feeling calm, positive or energetic after mediating) ?