The "God Helmet": Background information when reading Luminarium

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Luminarium

A Novel

By Alex Shakar

Luminarium
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2011,
    432 pages.
    Paperback: May 2012,
    432 pages.

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The "God Helmet"

When Fred puts on the "God helmet" in Luminarium he is participating in an experiment into Neurotheology, a fairly new scientific field of research into the relationship between the brain and spiritual experiences. The first investigations studied brain wave patterns in the late 1950s. As the technology for brain study advanced, so did neurotheology.

During the 1980s, Dr. Michael Persinger, a leader in the field, set out to demonstrate that stimulation of the temporal lobes could "cause" a spiritual episode. His main tool was the Koren Helmet (named for Stanley Koren of Laurentian University's Neuroscience Department who built it according to specifications provided by Dr. Persinger), which applies complex, irregular magnetic signals to the temporal lobes - the area of the brain that many working in this field feel is the source of spiritual and religious experiences.

Thanks to a journalist in search of a compelling headline, The Koren Helmet quickly became known ...

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