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Research Article

The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief

  • Sam Harris equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Sam Harris, Jonas T. Kaplan

    Affiliations: UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, The Brain Research Institute, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, The Reason Project, Santa Monica, California, United States of America

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  • Jonas T. Kaplan equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Sam Harris, Jonas T. Kaplan

    Affiliation: Brain and Creativity Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Ashley Curiel,

    Affiliation: Department of Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Susan Y. Bookheimer,

    Affiliations: Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, The Brain Research Institute, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Marco Iacoboni,

    Affiliations: UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, The Brain Research Institute, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Mark S. Cohen mail

    mscohen@ucla.edu

    Affiliations: Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, The Brain Research Institute, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Departments of Neurology, Radiological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Biomedical Physics, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Published: October 01, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007272

About the Authors

Sam Harris, Marco Iacoboni
UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Jonas T. Kaplan
Brain and Creativity Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Ashley Curiel
Department of Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Susan Y. Bookheimer, Marco Iacoboni
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Susan Y. Bookheimer, Mark S. Cohen
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Susan Y. Bookheimer, Marco Iacoboni, Mark S. Cohen
Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Sam Harris, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Marco Iacoboni, Mark S. Cohen
The Brain Research Institute, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Mark S. Cohen
Departments of Neurology, Radiological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Biomedical Physics, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Susan Y. Bookheimer, Mark S. Cohen
Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Sam Harris
The Reason Project, Santa Monica, California, United States of America

Corresponding Author

Email: mscohen@ucla.edu

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: SH JTK MI MSC. Performed the experiments: JTK. Analyzed the data: SH JTK MI MSC. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MI MSC. Wrote the paper: SH JTK. Performed all subject recruitment, telephone screenings, and psychometric assessments prior to scanning: AC. Supervised our psychological assessment procedures and consulted on subject exclusions: SB. Gave extensive notes on the manuscript: MSC MI.