I am very interested in how sacred values operate within the brain. In general terms, we are quite good on the mechanics of the brain and good on processes in the mind. But were are hopeless at understanding how these two things intersect. How does personal meaning shape the activity of the brain at a cellular level? Studies of the activation of sacred values within the brain is beginning to reveal this overlap.
Therefore I was fascinated by this recent study of people willing to die for their beliefs. A large sample of whom were engaged in a brain screening programme which revealed very interesting patterns in the brain, especially how sacred values are able to switch off key cognitive systems in the brain. To read a review of the research presented in the Conversation, click here.