Spiritual Channeling Study Surprises Scientists with Changing Brain Activity_Featured_, Consciousness Monday, November 19th, 2012
(Discovery News) During a trance-like session of psychography, experienced mediums in Brazil allow themselves to become receptive to spirits or dead souls. Then they write automatically, channeling the voices of those they believe to be speaking to them.
As these mediums communicate with the dead, found a new study, parts of their brains involved in language and purposeful activity shut down, alongside other patterns of increased and decreased activity.
The findings add to our limited understanding of how the spiritual brain works, though for now, science cannot speak to the existence of the spirit world.
“I don’t think this does anything to make (the experience) less real or less profound or to make it less important in the moment,” said Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia…
…In an attempt to understand how the human brain experiences spirituality, Newberg and colleagues have studied a range of practices, including yoga, meditation, prayer and speaking in tongues.
This time, he turned to psychography, one of a variety of practices associated with mediums, who lose their own sense of self as they connect with external souls.
Of the ten Brazilian psychographers considered in the study, five were experts who had been practicing for an average of 37 years and conducted an average of 15 sessions per month. The other five were novices who had been practicing for far less time and practiced with much less frequency. All were well adjusted and mentally healthy.
Each medium entered a trance state and began writing. After 10 minutes, the scientists injected them with a radioactive tracer that traveled to the brain, where it essentially got locked in place, reflecting how blood was flowing to various parts of the brain at the moment of injection. When the session was over 15 minutes later, a scanner illuminated that moment for the researchers.