Paranormal and religious beliefs may be mediated differentially by subcortical and cortical phenomenological processes of the temporal (limbic) lobes

Percept Mot Skills. 1993 Feb;76(1):247-51. doi: 10.2466/pms.1993.76.1.247.


The vectorial hemisphericity concept predicts that endorsements of beliefs in paranormal phenomena are associated with elevated subcortical (complex partial epileptic-like signs) temporal lobe experiences while endorsements of religious beliefs are associated with experiences of the right (cortical) hemispheric equivalent (the sensed presence) of the linguistic sense of self. Partial correlation analyses, which removed the expected shared variance, supported this hypothesis for 400 men and 400 women; religious affiliation did not contribute any statistically significant influence. However, agreements with extreme religious beliefs, such as killing others in God's name, were associated with weekly church attendance and were primarily endorsed by men but not by women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / psychology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Limbic System / physiology*
  • Linguistics
  • Male
  • Parapsychology*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*