Researchers in England claim they have the ability to alter a Christian’s beliefs in God with a common procedure used to treat depression.
Experiments conducted at the University of York in York, England, allegedly changed Christian perceptions on God. Public policy preferences on immigration were also altered.
Scientists used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, on volunteers’ posterior medial frontal cortex to accomplish their objectives.
“People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems,” Dr. Keise Izuma told Britain’s Express on Wednesday. “We wanted to find out whether a brain region that is linked with solving concrete problems, like deciding how to move one’s body to overcome an obstacle, is also involved in solving abstract problems addressed by ideology.”
Belief in God was allegedly cut by one-third after an electromagnetic coil strategically placed against a participant’s scalp had a current turned on, the newspaper reported.
American volunteers were also less bothered by concerns over immigration.
Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”
“As expected, we found that when we experimentally turned down the posterior medial frontal cortex, people were less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas despite having been reminded of death,” Dr. Izuma said.
York University’s findings have been published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Express reported.
“These findings are very striking, and consistent with the idea that brain mechanisms that evolved for relatively basic threat-response functions are re-purposed to also produce ideological reactions,” Dr. Colin Holbrook, the project’s lead author from the University of California at Los Angeles, told the newspaper.