Dr. Andy Newberg

Neuroscientist, Neurotheology Researcher

Key Facts

Prominent researcher in the field of nuclear medical brain imaging and neurotheology.


The science of spirituality has become something of a hot topic in the past few decades because we finally have the advanced imaging technology — fMRI and SPECT scans and the like — to actually peer inside the brain and find out what is going on during so-called spiritual experience. No one has peered deeper than Dr. Andrew Newberg, currently the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital in Philadelphia and formerly the Director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. During his career, Newberg has examined the brains of Tibetan monks during peak meditation, Franciscan nuns during ecstatic prayer, Evangelicals in the throes of glossolalia — all with an eye towards understanding how brain function produces mystical experience. His books include How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist and Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. He has presented his work at scientific and religious meetings throughout the world and has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, 20/20, CNN, ABC World News Tonight as well as in a number of media articles including Newsweek, Time, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times.