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Uploaded on Jan 9, 2008
It turns out that some of us have very sensitive temporal lobes, while others find that murder is 1) in bad taste and 2) decreases your own ability to propagate genes. --------------------------
The first researcher to note and catalog the abnormal experiences associated with TLE was neurologist Norman Geschwind, who noted a constellation of symptoms, including hypergraphia, hyperreligiosity, fainting spells, mutism and pedantism, often collectively ascribed to a condition known as Geschwind syndrome. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran explored the neural basis of the hyperreligiosity seen in TLE using galvanic skin response, which correlates with emotional arousal, to determine whether the hyperreligiosity seen in TLE was due to an overall enhanced emotional response, or if the enhancement was specific to religious stimuli (Ramachandran and Blakeslee, 1998). By presenting subjects with neutral, sexually arousing and religious words while measuring GSR, Ramachandran was able to show that patients with TLE showed enhanced emotional responses to the religious words, diminished responses to the sexually charged words, and normal responses to the neutral words. These results suggest that the medial temporal lobe is specifically involved in generating some of the emotional reactions associated with religious words, images and symbols.
UFO Researcher Albert Budden and cognitive neuroscience researcher Michael Persinger assert that increases in local electromagnetism, triggering the temporal lobe can stimulate TLE and trigger hallucinations of apparent paranormal phenomena, for example ghosts and UFOs. Persinger has even gone as far as to create a "God helmet" to apparently demonstrate how stimulation of the parietal and temporal lobe can evoke altered states of consciousness. Quite possibly, as neurotheologians have speculated, then, individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy, who have a natural aptitude for "religious" states of consciousness (such as euphoria or samadhi) have functioned in human history as religious figures or as shamans.