"The problem we find with a lot of the religion and health and spirituality findings and movement is the tendency to overinterpret without rightly contextualizing and being a bit more cautious about things."

Newberg said the study was worthwhile, but agrees that more research needs to be done.

"If we can learn more about the human brain through studies of these very complex spiritual and religious experiences people have, we can understand neurobiology and psychiatry better," said Newberg. "And if there are ways we can learn more about these experiences - how they happen, what they mean - religion and spirituality can be enhanced as well."

Farde and his colleagues are currently conducting an identical study in women that will be completed in three to six months