Psychologists used magnetic force to safely shut down the region of the brain associated with “threat-response functions” and conducted a series of tests where volunteers were asked questions about their beliefs.
Scientists found the people were less likely to have negative views when the magnetic force was applied to the posterior medial frontal cortex, positioned a few inches up from the forehead.
In the study, half of participants were given a low-level placebo-like level of magnetic energy that did not affect their brain, while the other half received enough energy to lower activity in the target area.
Volunteers were then asked to think about death, after which they were asked questions about their religious beliefs and attitudes on immigration.
Researchers from the University of York and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), discovered those whose frontal cortex was temporarily shut down reported 32.8 percent less belief in God, angels or heaven.
Volunteers were screened prior to the investigation to ensure they held religious beliefs.
The participants were also 28.5 percent more positive in their feelings toward an immigrant who criticized their country.
Dr. Keise Izuma said volunteers were reminded about death because people are more likely to turn to ideologies when they think of dying.
“We decided to remind people of death because previous research has shown that people turn to religion for comfort in the face of death. As expected, we found that when we experimentally turned down the posterior medial frontal cortex, people were less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas despite having been reminded of death,” he said.
READ MORE: https://www.rt.com/uk/318881-magnets-brain-immigration-religion/