…Mind you, said answer is “It depends on what you believed, going in.” Yes, I know. Not very helpful an answer, even if it is almost as accurate an answer as you’re likely to get prior to, well.
I found that dichotomy everywhere as I interviewed experts about the emerging science of spirituality. It’s kind of like a Rorschach test: Some researchers look at the data and say spiritual experience is only an electrical storm in the temporal lobe, or a brain gasping for oxygen — all fully explainable by science. Others say our brains are reflecting an encounter with the divine.
And almost invariably, where a scientist stands on that issue has little to do with the clinical findings of any study. It has almost everything to do with the scientist’s personal beliefs.
Not really, actually*.
*Besides, it should have taken the researchers roughly thirty seconds to realize that a reliable method of recording and playing back memories would have guaranteed their research funding by the porn industry for the rest of their natural lives.