Beyond Blood

Beyond Blood

Next-generation MRI scans offer a sharper picture of the brain's inner workings

By Ewen Callaway, 15:58 PM April 15, 2008

The test subject lies on his back, legs stretching from the tunnel-shaped brain scanner. Flat-screen computer monitors fill the cramped control room for the MRI machine. The subject watches one screen, where phrases flash, such as "Jesus is the son of God," "God puts good and evil everywhere," and so on.

"We're doing a study on religion in the brain," says the technician at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md.

Another monitor reveals a black-and-white cross section of the s...

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