The Neural Basis of Religious Cognition

Jordan Grafman*, Irene Cristofori, Wanting Zhong, Joseph Bulbulia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Religion’s neural underpinnings have long been a topic of speculation and debate, but an emerging neuroscience of religion is beginning to clarify which regions of the brain integrate moral, ritual, and supernatural religious beliefs with functionally adaptive responses. Here, we review evidence indicating that religious cognition involves a complex interplay among the brain regions underpinning cognitive control, social reasoning, social motivations, and ideological beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • cognitive neuroscience
  • lesion mapping
  • neuroimaging
  • religious beliefs
  • religious cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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