This is an interesting discussion about the effects of religion or its absence on the brain. It seems to reinforce a long list of scientific efforts to understand why some people become involved with mythological creatures and others don’t. The key is the skeptical mind that harder to convince but also is more likely to not see than to see.
It’s good that someone is working on this and adding to the knowledge base. There is a tendency to see things in this that are not there. The issue is purely perception and the identification of patterns. This appears to be primarily suggestibility. Some people are quicker and firmer in identifying patterns whether they are there or not.
As you note, there is, at best, a very tentative and indirect connection between patterns perceived or not perceived and our external environment. This makes it very difficult to say things about anything other than tangible or verifiable objects or forces that can be replicated.
This, of course, takes us quickly into the realm ‘ideal’ patterns. How close does the perceived chair match the ideal chair that we use as the foundational pattern. And what are the differences between your ideal chair and mine? Does it matter since there are only chairs and no ‘ideal’ chair.
This is classic Western philosophy. Classic Eastern philosophy defines the ideal human results based on the social implications of a chair. The functional relationships are more important than the existence of a pattern. I tend to prefer that. It is, however, a different question that ignores the question you asking.