brain chips computer science mind fmriA study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that expert advice may shut down areas of the brain responsible for decision-making processes, particularly when individuals are trying to evaluate a situation where risk is involved. The study was published in the March 2009 issue of the Public Library of Science (PLOS One) and was conducted at Emory University.

The study used the scans to look at the decision making part of the brain, when given expert advice, concerning personal financial decisions. Upon receiving this expert advice, the decision making part of the brain stopped sending signals. The subjects’ brains stopped making decisions and gave over their function to the person who was considered the expert.

“This study indicates that the brain relinquishes responsibility when a trusted authority provides expertise, says Berns. “The problem with this tendency is that it can work to a person’s detriment if the trusted source turns out to be incompetent or corrupt.”

Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc… all have their “experts” on spirituality. Thousands of years of torture  murder, and terror leave no doubt to the followers who their spiritual authorities are.

I truly believe that this is the lynchpin to religiosity. The religious can be shown all the evidence in the world that the invisible and non-verifiable don’t exist, but until we remove that authority figure, whether a person or book, the religious will never take that leap of reality.

JH Chrestos is the author of the website