Presenter: Michael Ferguson, PhD,
Neurospirituality Research Director,
Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics,
Bigham and Women’s Hospital
Description: It is commonly assumed that medicine and spirituality are non-overlapping domains, but this segregation is a modern construction. For our March 1st Grand Rounds, using advanced brain circuit mapping techniques developed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Michael Ferguson demonstrated how neuroscience and spirituality are successfully being applied to study one another. He further identified ways that “neurospirituality” may translate into clinical opportunities for spiritual therapeutics
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 1st | 8:00am – 9:00am US EDT
Cost: Free. CME credit available.
Grand Rounds Presentation (60 mins):
Sneak Preview (2.5 mins):
Interview (14.5 mins):
TEDx Talk: This Is Your Brain On God
Introduction to Neurospirituality, YouTube video
Personal academic website
Ferguson, M.A., Schaper, F.L., Cohen, A., Siddiqi, S., Merrill, S.M., Nielsen, J.A., Grafman, J., Urgesi, C., Fabbro, F. and Fox, M.D., 2022. A neural circuit for spirituality and religiosity derived from patients with brain lesions. Biological psychiatry, 91(4), pp.380-388
Dr. Michael Ferguson is an Instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Lecturer on Neurospirituality at Harvard Divinity School, and a course co-instructor on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Meditation at Harvard College. He earned his PhD in bioengineering at the University of Utah where he studied religious experience using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dr. Ferguson completed postdoctoral fellowships in Cognitive Neuroscience at Cornell University and in Cognitive Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center before joining the Neurology faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Of historical note, he and his husband were the first same-sex couple legally married in the state of Utah. Additionally, Dr. Ferguson was the named plaintiff in Ferguson v. JONAH which was the first and (to date) the only lawsuit in the United States to shut down a gay conversion therapy provider. Dr. Ferguson is thrilled to be at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is especially grateful for the tremendous encouragement he has received at the Brigham for integrating diverse methods from brain imaging and spirituality studies.