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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Sep 25;405(3):186-90. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns.

Author information

  • 1Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Que., Canada. mario.beauregard@umontreal.ca

Abstract

The main goal of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to identify the neural correlates of a mystical experience. The brain activity of Carmelite nuns was measured while they were subjectively in a state of union with God. This state was associated with significant loci of activation in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex, right middle temporal cortex, right inferior and superior parietal lobules, right caudate, left medial prefrontal cortex, left anterior cingulate cortex, left inferior parietal lobule, left insula, left caudate, and left brainstem. Other loci of activation were seen in the extra-striate visual cortex. These results suggest that mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions and systems.

PMID:
16872743
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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