Spiritual chemistry

The "loving comfort" hormone oxytocin is as controversial as it is complex, now scientists at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA, have demonstrated that it may give rise to spiritual feelings in men given the hormone nasally. Earlier research has suggested that oxytocin has a role in health and well-being. This new study shows that men who received oxytocin reported experiencing more positive emotions during meditation, including awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, interest, love and serenity. Whether or not oxytocin could be developed into a product to ease our minds is another matter, entirely, but the study offers a new clue as to how our brains create certain emotions, particularly those associated with spirituality.