A study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah showed that mental pleasure has the same effect on the brain as rewards, love, or drug use. This is also true when playing video games (such as the runewords in diablo 2)
Religion, soul-finding, material gain, or drug use are all felt the same way because they activate the same circuits in the brain, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Utah. They used magnetic resonance imaging to study 19 devoted Mormons and found that the results during prayer were similar to those obtained through prayer and pleasure.
Video games as mental-health hazards
Imaging examinations revealed changes in the brain regions involved in the recognition of importance. However, the lead author of this study, Jeffrey S. Anderson, said that the link between spiritual experience and reward pathways suggests that “religious formation may be a classical or Pavlovian form of regulation.”
Anderson said: “Combining positive feedback, music and social rewards with beliefs or certain doctrines can make the latter a rewarding element.” The same mechanism can explain attachment to religious leaders and ideals. Women of the Lutheran (Minnesota) and the ISIS in Syria may have experienced the very same feelings around the same area of the brain. They experience different belief systems and have different social consequences. ”
The study authors say that some people are more likely to like religion than others. However, this particular neurological response is not limited to mental people. Researchers expect people without a religious background to have similar brain responses to patriotic images, peaceful scenes, or profound scientific ideas.
American researchers have ensured that they will not reduce the complexity of religious passions in the brain. They point out that descriptions of religious experiences vary, and indicate that it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire brain during mental activity to better understand this response.