Is the everyday understanding of belief susceptible to scientific investigation? Belief is one of the most commonly used, yet unexplained terms in neuroscience. Beliefs can be seen as forms of mental representations and one of the building blocks of our conscious thoughts.

This book provides an interdisciplinary overview of what we currently know about the neural basis of human belief systems, and how different belief systems are implemented in the human brain. The chapters in this volume explain how the neural correlates of beliefs mediate a range of explicit and implicit behaviours ranging from moral decision making, to the practice of religion. Drawing inferences from philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, religion, and cognitive neuroscience, the book has important implications for understanding how different belief systems are implemented in the human brain, and outlines the directions which research on the cognitive neuroscience of beliefs should take in the future.

The Neural Basis of Human Belief Systems will be of great interest to researchers in the fields of psychology, philosophy, psychiatry, and cognitive neuroscience.

chapter |17 pages

What are Beliefs?

ByPatricia S. Churchland, Paul M. Churchland

chapter |24 pages

The Neuropsychology of Belief Formation

ByRobyn Langdon, Emily Connaughton

chapter |27 pages

A Multiple Systems approach to Causal Reasoning

ByRichard Patterson, Aron K. Barbey

chapter |24 pages

The Neural Bases of Attitudes, Evaluation, And Behavior Change

ByEmily B. Falk, Matthew D. Lieberman

chapter |16 pages

Interpersonal Trust as a Dynamic Belief

ByEwart de Visser, Frank Krueger

chapter |25 pages

The Neural Bases of Moral Belief Systems

ByRicardo de Oliveira-Souza, Roland Zahn, Jorge Moll

chapter |21 pages

Neuroscientific Approaches to ‘Mens Rea' Assessment

ByUllrich Wagner, Henrik Walter

chapter |10 pages

The Neural Structure of Political Belief

ByLaura Moretti, Irene Cristofori, Giovanna Zamboni, Angela Sirigu

chapter |22 pages

The Neural Basis of Religion

ByJoseph Bulbulia, Uffe Schjoedt

chapter |33 pages

The Neural Basis of Abnormal Personal Belief

ByVaughan Bell, Peter W. Halligan

chapter |12 pages

I Believe to My Soul

ByFrank Krueger, Jordan Grafman