hey, here are a couple of things you might want to check out:
McCullough, M.E., Hoyt, W.T., Larson, D.B., Koenig, H.G., & Thoresen, C.E. (2000). Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. Health Psychology, 19, 211. (found a positive correlation between praying regularly and overall mental health.)
Recently, an interesting field of study, called Neurotheology has been developing. It consists of the study of brain mechanisms and their relation to spiritual/religious experiences. A variety of studies have been conducted whereby it has been found that brain activity is altered while people undergo religious experiences. One hypothesis that has come up is that engaging in religious practices activates the frontal lobe, thereby rewarding the adaptive behaviors that religion encourages such as emotion modulation, empathy, hope and optimism (McNamara, P. (2002). The motivational origins of religious practices. Zygon, 37, 143.)It has been found, through the use of brain imaging tools, that there is an increase in blood flow to frontal sites during prayer or meditation.
Another study was started by the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin in conjunction with the Dalai Lama. Dr. Davidson, the director of the Laboratory conducted research using functional M.R.I. and EEG analysis to identify an index for the brain's set point for moods. It was found that when people are emotionally distressed, the most active sites in the brain are the amygdala and the right prefrontal cortex, whereas when people are in positive moods, there is heightened activity in the left prefrtonal cortex. In studies conducted by A. Newberg and E. D’Aquili (2001)(D'Aquili, E. & Newberg, A.B. (2001). The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experience , Fortress) the brains of experienced meditators, namely, Buddhist monks, were studied while they were in an altered state of consciousness due to meditation and it was found that activity was increased in the left prefrontal lobes. These researchers also claim that an area of the brain called the Orientation Association Area, which is where our brain is able to distinguish between our surroundings, and ourselves had reduced activity while monks were in deep meditation or nuns were in prayer. They interpreted this as meaning that as these people felt at peace with the universe, their inner selves becoming indistinguishable, in their mind, from their outside reality.
Creating a database
i dont really know how to conduct research..no experience. any tips..drop a line -Kunda
Some time ago i heard that the Australian National Library would email ebooks from their free collection to anyone who writes to them.Dont know if thats still true. But here is a link with free ebokk resources from Australia and elsewhere. http://www.e-book.com.au/freebooks.htm#1 Most of them are of scientific nature. mutante 08:09, 16 Jun 2005 (CEST)