Religious Icons Fight Pain


| 10/24/2008 3:48:43 PM


Image of the Virgin MaryWhen a Catholic gets hurt, an image of the Virgin Mary could help soothe the pain. New research suggests that “religious belief alters the brain in a way that changes how a person responds to pain,” Irene Tracey of Oxford University told Science News.

For the research, Catholics, agnostics, and atheists were subjected to a series of electric shocks, some while looking at a picture of the Virgin Mary and some without the image. Practicing Catholics perceived less pain when they were staring at the Virgin Mary, Science News reports, and displayed increased activity in an area of the brain associated with “emotional detachment and perceived control over pain.” Agnostics and atheists didn't show the same kind of neuro-activity, nor the perceived pain reduction.





Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter