Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns

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Paper (help)
Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns
Authors: Mario Beauregard, Vincent Paquette
Citation: Neuroscience Letters 405 (3): 186-190. 2006 September
Database(s): PubMed (PMID/16872743)
DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2006.06.060.
Link(s): http://www.iapsych.com/articles/beauregard2006.pdf
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Format: BibTeX Template from PMID
Extract: Talairach coordinates from linked PDF: CSV-formated wiki-formated

Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns reports a functional magnetic resonance imaging study on religious behavior in nuns.

The authors also eximined the EEG activity in Carmelite nuns are reported that in another article EEG activity in Carmelite nuns during a mystical experience.[1]

Related human brain mapping studies that examine the religious phenomenon are Rewarding prayers.[2]

Contents

[edit] Subjects

Subject group #1 (help)
Carmelite nuns
Subjects/♂/♀: 15 / 0 / 15
Age: 49.93 ±11.27 (23–64)
Nationality: define nationality
Approval: Ethics committee of CRIUGM
Databases:

Group 1 of 15 carmelite nuns with 0 males and 15 females were included in the study. The group had a mean age of 49.93 with a range from 23 to 64. The study on the human subjects was approved by the Ethics committee of CRIUGM. The nuns had been affiliated with their order for on average 19 years.

[edit] Scanning

MRI Scanning (help)
Mode: fMRI
Scanner: Siemens Magnetom Trio 3T
Type: T2*-weighted EPI

(TR=?, TE=30ms, FA=90°)

Slices: 28 (thickness=5mm ) oriented Inclined axial
Size: FOV=215mm matrix=64 x 64 resolution=3.4 x 3.5 x 5mm
Laboratory: missing laboratory

For fMRI T2*-weighted EPI scans were acquired with a 3T Siemens Magnetom Trio.


[edit] Conditions

Psychoexperimental condition #1 (help)
Name: Mystical
Stimulus: None (define stimulus_modality1)
Instruction: Remember and relive with eyes closed the most intense mystical experience ever felt in live
Behavioral response: None (define response_modality1)
Cogn. comp.: Reliving remembered mystical experience
In condition no. 1, Mystical, They were instructed to Remember and relive with eyes closed the most intense mystical experience ever felt in live. The subjects responded with None.
Psychoexperimental condition #2 (help)
Name: Control
Stimulus: None (define stimulus_modality1)
Instruction: Remember and relive with eyes closed the most intense state of union with another human
Behavioral response: None (define response_modality1)
In condition no. 2, Control, They were instructed to Remember and relive with eyes closed the most intense state of union with another human. The subjects responded with None.
Psychoexperimental condition #3 (help)
Name: Rest
Stimulus: None (define stimulus_modality1)
Instruction: Rest with eyes closed
Behavioral response: None (define response_modality1)
Cogn. comp.: Awake resting with eyes closed
In condition no. 3, Rest, They were instructed to Rest with eyes closed. The subjects responded with None.

The mystical condition was assessed with the Mysticism scale.[3]:187,2

[edit] Results

Statistical threshold was on P<0.001 uncorrected (page 187). It is not clear what stereotaxic space the coordinates are reported with respect to: The Talairach atlas is cited, but SPM2 is used so it is probably MNI space.

[edit] Mystical versus baseline

Table 1, part 1 with 14 coordinates.

Anatomy
BA
x
y
z
No. vox
t
z
Coordinate search
Plot
1 Right medial orbitofrontal cortex 11 2 46 -14 6.60 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
2 Right middle temporal cortex 21 49 -12 -14 6.24 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Left inferior parietal lobule 7 -32 -79 38 6.06 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
4 Right inferior parietal lobule 40 40 -76 30 5.46 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
5 Right superior parietal lobule 7 26 -67 46 5.38 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
6 Left caudate -6 8 3 5.17 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
7 Right MOC 18 26 -96 0 5.15 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
8 Left MOC 19 -35 -91 8 4.67 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
9 Left medial prefrontal cortex 10 -11 52 13 4.50 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
10 Right caudate 7 5 8 4.25 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
11 Right LG 18 2 -88 3 4.17 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
12 Left brainstem -3 -38 -42 3.90 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
13 Left insula 13 13 -35 3 3.88 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
14 Left anterior cingulate cortex 32 -1 40 7 3.69 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available

[edit] Mystical versus control

Table 1, part 2 with 6 coordinates.

Anatomy
BA
x
y
z
No. vox
t
z
Coordinate search
Plot
1 Right medial orbitofrontal cortex 11 4 43 -14 4.91 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
2 Left inferior parietal lobule 40 -51 -56 36 4.33 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Right middle temporal cortex 21 47 -15 -14 3.79 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
4 Left superior parietal lobule 7 -35 -56 55 3.58 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
5 Right medial prefrontal cortex 10 4 46 10 3.41 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
6 Right anterior cingulate cortex 32 2 43 5 3.34 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available

[edit] Control versus baseline

Table 2, part 1 with 6 coordinates

Anatomy
BA
x
y
z
No. vox
t
z
Coordinate search
Plot
1 Right superior parietal lobule 7 12 -64 39 3.93 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
2 Left caudate -6 17 6 3.79 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Left superior parietal lobule 7 -22 -64 41 3.75 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
4 Right inferior occipital cortex 18 28 -96 -3 3.74 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
5 Left anterior cingulate cortex 32 -11 20 40 3.53 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
6 Left brainstem -3 -32 -42 3.61 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available

[edit] Control versus mystical


Anatomy
BA
x
y
z
No. vox
t
z
Coordinate search
Plot
1 Left putamen -19 8 5 3.61 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available

[edit] Critique

  1. The P-values are uncorrected. However, for the first constrast the z-score are resonable high.
  2. The stereotaxic space is not explicit
  3. MOC (middle occipital cortex?) and LG (lingual gyrus?) abbreviations are never defined

[edit] References

  1. Mario Beauregard, Vincent Paquette (2008). "EEG activity in Carmelite nuns during a mystical experience". Neuroscience Letters 444(1): 1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.08.028.
  2. Uffe Schjødt, Hans Stødkilde-Jørgensen, Armin W. Geertz, Andreas Roepstorff (2008). "Rewarding prayers". Neuroscience Letters 443(3): 165-168. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.07.068.
  3. R. W. Hood Jr. (1975). "The construction and preliminary validation of a measure of reported mystical experience". J. Scient. Study Religion 14: 21-41.
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