A new study by the Brain Injury Research Program at Northwestern University has revealed that injuries to the prefontal cortex of the brain are associated with religious fundamentalism. The study, managed and co-authored by Jordan Grafman, was published in the June, 2017 edition of Neuropsychologia and is titled “Biological and Cognitive Underpinnings of Religious Fundamentalism.”
The researchers studied 119 veterans of the Vietnam War who had sustained what are called “penetrating brain injuries,” as well as 30 Vietnam War veterans who did not. The veterans were each given a set of questions that has been shown in past studies to be indicative of whether a person holds rigid religious beliefs, and whether they are liable to change or modify their religious beliefs when confronted with statements that challenge these views. The results of this research strengthened the opinion that religious fundamentalism has some association with brain damage.