When some religiously devout people hear a charismatic healer speak the word of god , the regions of their brains involved in skeptical thinking and vigilance appear to shut down. Uffe Schjødt of Aarhus University in Denmark and his colleagues scanned the brains of Pentecostalists while they listened to recorded prayers from non-Christians, "ordinary" Christians, and a healer. The brain activity changed only in response to prayers they were told came from the healer. According to Schjødt, the same deactivation may occur in response to the words of physicians, parents, politicians, and other charismatic leaders. The researchers published their results in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
. From New Scientist:
Parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and scepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated when the subjects listened to a supposed healer. Activity diminished to a lesser extent when the speaker was supposedly a normal Christian.
"Brain shuts off in response to healer's prayer"
Schjødt says that this explains why certain individuals can gain influence over others, and concludes that their ability to do so depends heavily on preconceived notions of their authority and trustworthiness.
In her delightful blog AI Weirdness, Janelle Shane entered 18,458 unique bills introduced in Massachusetts into a neural network, which then created some rather hilarious bills, including:
At last night’s NBA All-Star basketball game, singer Fergie sang the Star-Spangled banner for thousands at the venue and millions at home. She’s been getting interesting reviews and people stayed up late to give them. I, for one, hope she now sings Happy Birthday to President Trump, concluding by shouting “Let’s play some basketball”
Peter K. Rosenthal faces an existential crisis after watching ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ and learning the nature of his predicament. For as long as I remember I’ve been imprisoned here, forced to watch an endless cavalcade of rote, insipid moviemaking. … Every DVD I watch is slipped in on a tray. Recently, for some reason, they’ve […]
Going back to school isn’t necessarily an option for everyone. Between the time commitments and steep tuition rates, there are obstacles aplenty as far as furthering education is concerned. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to learn new skills. Excel with Business lets users access thousands of hours of online learning in Microsoft, business, technology, […]
More often than not, you won’t see an accident coming, which means it pays to be proactive and ensure you have the right tools on-hand before you need them. Whether you find yourself in the middle of a power outage or having car trouble at night, you can make sure you’re still capable of navigating […]
Trains may not be the most popular means of conveyance nowadays, but chances are you grew up playing with toy trains or building a model set to wrap around the Christmas tree. In either case, it’s safe to say that locomotives have long carried a unique sense of awe and scale, especially when they’re hundreds […]