Bookmark and Share

This article is in the news archive.

The Believing Brain: Neuroscience of Belief CamBRAIN panel discussion event

Our beliefs shape our identity, influence how we interpret the world and steer our relationships. They are, more than anything else, what make us human.

How our beliefs are born, developed and reinforced depends upon a multitude of factors such as our environment, experiences and genetics. But what role does our brain play?

Whilst philosophers have speculated about how the brain forms beliefs since the 17th century, recent advances in technology have opened up the possibility to answer interesting questions such as:

Which regions of the brain are involved in belief? Can differences in brain structure and function make some people more prone to believe in God? Or more likely to vote labour or conservative? Finally, do we have control of what we believe and why, or does our brain make the decisions without us knowing?

Join us for an evening of talks followed by a panel discussion to discuss the neural basis for religious and political belief!


Tue 3 April 2018

18:00 – 21:00 BST

Add to Calendar


Old Divinity School

Saint Johns Street



View Map

We will be joined by 4 fantastic speakers:

Revd Prof. Alasdair Coles, a neurologist whose research is based on the immunology and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Prof. Coles has also done some research on the neurological basis for religious experience.

Dr Joseph Tennant, a research associate working on the psychology and neurology of religious experience. Dr Tennant investigates the euphoric or transcendent auras which some patients with epilepsy experience during a seizure.

Dr Harvey McMahon FRS, whose research is focussed on the molecular mechanisms of vesicle trafficking. Dr McMahon also has an interest in the topic of free will and how free will is influenced by our memories, genetics and environment.

Dr Lee de-Wit, a post-doctoral researcher and author of a book exploring the psychology of voting- ‘What's Your Bias?: The Surprising Science of Why We Vote the Way We Do’

The talks will be followed by a short discussion chaired by Elaine Snell, the Chief Operating Officer of the International Neuroethics Society http://www.neuroethicssociety.org/

Refreshments will be provided after the discussion.

We hope to see you there!

Register here


Posted on 28/03/2018

Further events

Go to the events index page.