Tedx Talk 2019 about neuroenchantment

On the pros and cons of the placebo-effect and why we should all seek spiritual experiences

Radboud Reflects Nijmegen

Discussie over de vraag of religie nu wel of niet in je brein zit

Studium Generale Utrecht 2019

Waarom we altijd betekenis waarnemen in toevallige gebeurtenissen

Participants about the God Helmet experiment

AT5 about our research

Item on the Amsterdam television channel

Please reload

NWO VIDI Grant awarded!

NWO has awarded a personal VIDI grant to Michiel van Elk to support the research project 'Putting Psychedelics in Perspective'. This project aims to unravel the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying psychedelics, the relation between placebo and psychedelics and the potential of psychedelics to occasion mystical-like experiences. 

The research, which will be conducted at Leiden University, is a collaborative with input from the Indegeest workgroup, APRA and ALIUS research group.  

Paper @ Cortex now available as pre-print

We conducted an fMRI study to assess the relation between neural conflict sensitivity and religiosity - which turned out to be absent! The results were published in this registered report.

God Helmet on Display in Museum CatharijneConvent!

The Placebo God Helmet, which was used in several studies on mystical experiences, is now on display in museum CatharijneConvent in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The museum features a beautiful exhibition on miracles, which is definitely worth a visit! 

Michiel was a guest in a Dutch talkshow hosted by Jacobine Geel, discussing research on miracles! The show can be viewed by clicking the link below!

Interview EO Nachtzoen 1 december 2019

interview @ EO Nachtzoen (Dutch Television) on psychedelics, dreams and music

Preprint paper out: Laypeople can predict which studies replicate!

NIAS Fellowship for Michiel van Elk

As of September 2019 Michiel van Elk is working as a research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Amsterdam. 

Interview met Michiel van Elk in EO Nachtzoen 13 december 2019

Interview EO Nachtzoen

Slides Presentation on Open Science and Replication at APA 36th midyear conference

Please find below the slides from the presentation at the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality conference at Bowling Green, April 5th 2019

"Did I do that?" Effects of placebo brain stimulation

PAPER - Our paper about the effects of placebo brain stimulation on neural mechanisms of error processing and the sense of agency is now available for 'early access' at the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

"Extase" on Religious Experiences now available

BOOK - The book Extase on Religious Experiences has been published at Boom Uitgevers, Amsterdam! Click on the button to see where you can buy the book (in Dutch). 

"The Nature of Unbelief"

GRANT - Together with Uffe Schjoedt from the University of Aarhus, Denmark & Marjaana Lindeman from the University of Helsinki, Finland we received a grant to study the nature of unbelief.

"Brain Mechanisms in Religion and Spirituality"

PAPER - Our paper about 'Brain mechanisms in religion and spirituality: An integrative predictive processing framework' has been published at Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 

"Procial Behavior in Catholics and Protestants"

PAPER - A new paper about prosocial behavior in Catholics and Protestants is out now at IJPR!

"Unleashing the Hidden Powers of the Mind"

GRANT - We received a grant from the Bial Foundation, in collaboration with dr. Uffe Schjoedt (Aarhus University) and prof. dr. Marcel Brass (University of Ghent) on 'Unleashing the Hidden Powers of the Mind Through Manipulating Belief in Cognitive Enhancement Devices'. Starting in July 2017 we will further explore the potential of placebo brain stimulation to manipulate human experience and performance!

"Religious Replication Project"

GRANT - In collaboration with Eric-Jan Wagenmakers we have been awarded a grant by the John Templeton Foundation on the "Religious Replication Project: Using Pre-registered Replications and Bayesian Statistics to Improve the Experimental Study of Religion". Starting in July 2017 a prospective PhD student will focus on the issue of replicability in the psychology of religion.

Please reload

Volkskrant on the God Helmet at Lowlands

ARTICLE - A news article in De Volkskrant about the God Helmet experiment at the Lowlands Music Festival in 2016. about the God Helmet experiment

ARTICLE - News article about the God Helmet at about the God Helmet experiment

ARTICLE - A discussion of the God Helmet experiment at Lowlands on

DeMorgen about the God Helmet experiment

ARTICLE - Belgian newspaper DeMorgen about the God Helmet experiment at Lowlands.

Please reload

Welcome  to the Religion, Cognition & Behavior Lab. Our research focuses on the psychological and neurocognitive mechanisms involved in supernatural beliefs, mystical experiences and related phenomena. 

As of August 2020 most of our research has moved to Leiden University, where Michiel van Elk took on a position in Cognitive Psychology

© 2017 by Amsterdam Religion Cognition and Behavior Lab