While we're on the subject of brain and aesthetics, what does the god spot have to do with belief?
Nature reports on research done with nuns, who were asked to relive mystical experiences while a magnetic resonance imaging machine mapped their gray matter. Predictably, brain chemistry changed. Specifically, the caudate nucleus, which is associated with feelings of happiness and bliss,
lit up during the mystical recollections.
One researcher on the project suggests that it might be possible to tickle the brain for the bliss and the previously demonstrated health benefits of religious faith, without, of course, going prostrate.
Thing is, can one get the high without the low? And is there a brain center for dirty knees?
See the Nature newsblog for reaction. Unfortunately, the full Nature article has disappeared behind a pay wall.