The practice of speaking in tongues has its roots in both old and New Testament. Speaking in tongues is common among modern Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, among others. A recent study reviewed the neurological aspects of the practice and produced some intriguing results. A specific area of the brain was found to be active in all five women that were studied. Surprisingly, the frontal lobe, the area that controls the thinking and willful part of the brain, was silent while the participants prayed. The research adds scientific credibility to the experience of speaking in tongues, which many view as a subjective experience. The following is an excerpt of the article:
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior. The images, appearing in the current issue of the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, pinpoint the most active areas of the brain.