Patrick McNamara, PhD

Associate Professor, Neurology

Patrick McNamara
700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res


Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Neurology Department of Neurology at the BU School of Medicine and the VA New England HealthCare System. Upon graduating from the Behavioral Neuroscience Program at Boston University in 1991, he trained at the Aphasia Research Center at the Boston VA Medical Center in neurolinguistics and brain-cognitive correlation techniques. He then began developing an evolutionary approach to problems of brain and behavior and currently is studying the evolution of the frontal lobes, the evolution of the two mammalian sleep states (REM and NREM) and the evolution of religion in human cultures. He has published numerous articles and chapters on these topics pioneering the investigation of the role of the frontal lobes in the mediation of religious experience.


  • Boston University, PhD
  • Boston University, MA


  • Published on 11/3/2023

    McNamara P. Religion and the brain: Jordan Grafman's contributions to religion and brain research and the special case of religious language. Cortex. 2023 Dec; 169:374-379. PMID: 37995522.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/17/2021

    McNamara P, Wildman WJ, Hodulik G, Rohr D. A neurocomputational theory of nightmares: the role of formal properties of nightmare images. Sleep Adv. 2021; 2(1):zpab009. PMID: 37193571.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2016

    Smart K, Durso R, Morgan J, McNamara P. A potential case of remission of Parkinson's disease. J Complement Integr Med. 2016 Sep 01; 13(3):311-315. PMID: 27379905.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/20/2016

    Morgan J, Clark D, Tripodis Y, Halloran CS, Minsky A, Wildman WJ, Durso R, McNamara P. Impacts of religious semantic priming on an intertemporal discounting task: Response time effects and neural correlates. Neuropsychologia. 2016 Aug; 89:403-13. PMID: 27450269.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/8/2016

    Butler PM, McNamara P. Comment on: Parkinson's Disease, Religion, and Spirituality. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2016 Sep-Oct; 3(5):518. PMID: 30363544.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/4/2016

    Harris E, McNamara P, Durso R. Possible selves in patients with right- versus left-onset Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2017 Mar; 24(2):198-215. PMID: 27141970.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/19/2015

    McNamara P, Bulkeley K. Dreams as a source of supernatural agent concepts. Front Psychol. 2015; 6:283. PMID: 25852602.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2015

    Harris E, McNamara P, Durso R. Novelty seeking in patients with right- versus left-onset Parkinson disease. Cogn Behav Neurol. 2015 Mar; 28(1):11-6. PMID: 25812126.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/9/2014

    McNamara P. Comment on David Haig's 'Troubled sleep': Implications for functions of infant sleep. Evol Med Public Health. 2014 Jan; 2014(1):54-6. PMID: 24614339.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/12/2013

    Harris E, McNamara P, Durso R. Apathy in patients with Parkinson disease as a function of side of onset. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2013 Jun; 26(2):95-104. PMID: 23584852.

    Read at: PubMed

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