Where Is God Located In the Brain? Religion Linked To Thickness Of The Cerebral Cortex, Columbia University Study

Published: Jan 02, 2014

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Made entirely of gray matter and distinguished by its characteristic folds, the cerebral cortex is the brain's outermost layer covering the hemispheres. Now, researchers from New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University found the importance of religion or spirituality to individuals may be linked to the thickness of their cerebral cortices. “Importance of religion or spirituality, but not frequency of [house of worship] attendance, was associated with thicker cortices in the left and right parietal and occipital regions, the mesial frontal lobe of the right hemisphere, and the cuneus and precuneus in the left hemisphere,” wrote the authors in their study, published this month in JAMA Psychology. Significantly, this relationship between spiritual importance and cortex thickness was observed to be strongest among those at high risk of depression.

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