I’ve been reading extensively on the whole subject of the Brain/Belief connection. There are several really interesting and thought provoking books on the subject. The Biology of Belief by Joseph Giovannoli and Brain and Belief by John J. McGraw are two of my favorites. The areas of the brain involved in religious thought are not a separate region from any others. An MRI study showed that the region that is active when people listen to statements about God is the same area that is used to understand what other people are thinking. This suggests that religious thought may have begun as a byproduct of other kinds of thinking.
The whole fascination with the origins of beliefs for me started from reading Edith Hamilton’s, Mythology as a kid and then observing my own spiritual/religious path from nothing to were I am today. Beliefs seem to me to follow a path from there origin to myth to belief to quaint idea to nothingness. They are culturally tied to our evolution it seems as a species and in some ways are either a reflection or a direct influence in or of that evolution. The article is really fascinating to me and for the most part ties in with my own observations/experiences.