An article in the Penn Almanac reports a neurological study on glossolalia (speaking in tongues). The researchers reported that brain activity observed while subjects speak in tongues suggest that they "are not in control of the usual language centers during this activity, which is consistent with their description of a lack of intentional control." The researcher went on to say "These findings could be interpreted as the subject’s sense of self being taken over by something else. We, scientifically, assume it’s being taken over by another part of the brain, but we couldn’t see, in this imaging study, where this took place. We believe this is the first scientific imaging study evaluating changes in cerebral activity—looking at what actually happens to the brain—when someone is speaking in tongues. This study also showed a number of other changes in the brain, including those areas involved in emotions and establishing our sense of self."
I tend to be skeptical of these sorts of studies, partially because I don't think God likes to be put "under the microscope," as it were (compare Deuteronomy 6:16), but I thought this one was particularly interesting. Also rather humorous are the article's last words: "future studies will be needed to confirm these findings in an attempt to demystify this religious phenomenon." Good luck demystifying mystical experience!Posted by Kenny at November 15, 2006 4:19 PM
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