A new report in JAMA Psychiatry by Lisa Miller and colleagues from Columbia University, New York, NY, demonstrates that the importance of religion or spirituality is associated with thicker brain cortex in several brain regions.
In today’s modern world, religion has to a great extent been replaced by social media and Facebook, and where teens’ outdoor activities are replaced by text messaging, video games, energy drinks and occasionally Quentin Tarantino’s movies.
According to the study’s authors these findings are correlational, and do not prove a causal association but indicate that the effects of importance on cortical thickness are more pronounced in individuals with high familial risk. The authors discuss that thicker cortex associated with a high importance of religion or spirituality may also be linked with resilience to the development of depressive illness.
Although there seems to be no clinical application, according to a discussion by Richard Zwolinski (see read more), faith and belief are more important because the world around us can change in the blink of an eye, thus they may also confer ‘resilience’ to life’s challenges as well.