Letters; February/March 2008; Scientific American Mind; by Staff Editor; 2 Page(s)
David Biello's "Searching for God in the Brain" discusses the neural circuitry involved in religious experience. Based on my team's research, I believe that the body's naturally occurring hallucinogenic molecules are a more fundamental cause of spiritual experience--whether that experience is self-willed or brought about by external means. The powerful hallucinogen DMT has been found in human blood, lung and brain. Clinical research we performed in the 1990s with DMT, which also occurs naturally in many plants, led us to propose a role for the brain-based compound in mystical states. The human body's hallucinogens may also contribute to other cognitive effects, such as psychosis.
As a person who has lived with recovered memories for 17 years, I was initially interested in but ultimately disappointed by "Brain Stains," by Kelly Lambert and Scott O. Lilienfeld.