Mario Beauregard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mario Beauregard (born 1962)[1] is a Canadian cognitive neuroscientist who is affiliated with the University of Arizona's psychology department.[2] He is known for arguing that matter is not all that exists, writing that "Along with an increasing number of scientists, I believe vehemently that the materialist framework is not science."[3] For this reason, he contends that the mind and the brain are fundamentally separate entities.[4]

Education and career[edit]

Beauregard received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Montreal in Canada.[2] He later did postdoctoral research at the University of Texas and McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute.[5]


While working at the University of Montreal, Beauregard and his graduate student, Vincent Paquette, conducted a study using fMRI to examine the brains of nuns reliving mystical experiences. They found that there was no single spot involved in mediating these experiences, but that instead, multiple brain regions and systems were involved.[6][7][8] He has also studied the brain activity of people who are reliving near-death experiences they have previously had. He has said that this research seems to indicate that these experiences have "triggered something at a neural level in the brain."[9]

He has also written multiple books, including The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, which he co-authored with Denyse O'Leary and was published in 2007.[10] He also published another book, Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives, in 2012. In this book, he contends that the mind and brain are fundamentally distinct from one another. Among the lines of evidence he cites to support this view are the effects that one's thoughts and beliefs can have on the course of diseases like cancer and Parkinson's disease.[4]


  1. ^ "Mario Beauregard". VIAF. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Biography". 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  3. ^ Brean, Joseph (20 September 2013). "Brain science turns to skepticism: As neuroscience's funding and influence grows, so do doubts over its hype". National Post. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Peterson, Daniel (6 February 2014). "Defending the Faith: Mind and brain: Identical or distinct?". Deseret News. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  5. ^ Beauregard, M (2008). "The emerging field of spiritual neuroscience: An interview with Mario Beauregard, PhD. Interview by Sheldon Lewis". Advances in Mind-Body Medicine. 23 (1): 20–3. PMID 20664137.
  6. ^ Beauregard, M; Paquette, V (25 September 2006). "Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns". Neuroscience Letters. 405 (3): 186–90. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2006.06.060. PMID 16872743.
  7. ^ Highfield, Roger (30 August 2006). "Nuns prove God is not figment of the mind". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. ^ "A mystical union". The Economist. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  9. ^ Hagerty, Barbara Bradley (22 May 2009). "Decoding The Mystery Of Near-Death Experiences". NPR. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  10. ^ Walach, Harald (December 2008). "The spiritual brain: a neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul, By Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary, New York: HarperOne, 2007, ISBN 978-0-06-085883-4, 368 pages" (PDF). Spirituality and Health International. 9 (4): 312–313. doi:10.1002/shi.364.