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Health & Science

Religion and the Brain

Photo by <a href="http://bit.ly/2giyf2t">More Good Foundation</a>, CC via Flickr

Researcher Jeffrey Anderson says Karl Marx wasn’t far off when he likened religion to opium. Anderson is a neuroradiologist at the University of Utah, and he’s been studying how the brain reacts to religious experiences. What he’s found is that religion works like love, gambling, drugs, and music: they all light up the brain’s reward center. He’ll join us Monday. We’ll also talk to science journalist Erik Vance, whose cover article for this month’s National Geographic looks at faith and healing.


  • Dr. Jeffrey Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Along with lead author Michael Ferguson and others, Anderson was senior author of a new study published in the journal Social Neuroscience
  • Erik Vance is a science writer, reporter and Pulitzer Center grantee. His article The Healing Power of Faith is the cover story for this month's National Geographic. He's also the author of Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal [Independent Bookstores|Amazon|Audible]