I have thought a lot about #1 so I’ll give my personal take on it:
1. I believe that it does, but modern science has a long way to go before understanding the brain well enough, both in terms of tools and theory.
As one example, Leigh Brasington strapped himself into some machines and went through (his definition of) the jhanas and they found some interesting results. Particularly interesting to me was that the bliss of meditation wasn’t from a spike in dopamine but rather a shutting down of large sections of the brain which increased the effectiveness of the existing neurotransmitters. This helps explain why it’s hard to get addicted to the pleasure of jhana, and how it helps to break other addictions.
But, that said, science has no good way of capturing the fine synaptic structure of live brains. The real magic of insight practice is its power to “rewire the brain,” but, sadly, science hasn’t yet figured out how to map the wiring, except by cutting up brains into thin slices and then putting the slices through a microscope… obviously not something you can do both before and after someone’s enlightenment in order to study the differences!
But that said: yes! It is possible to induce enlightenment through an artificial intervention!
The technique is called “the Noble Eightfold Path”
The thing about Enlightenment’s brain changes, is that the changes are so complex and intricate, the best technique to induce it must come from the mind (“cognitive-behavioral”) side and not from the brain (“bio-chemical”) side.
So, I recommend sticking with the board-approved “sila, samādhi, and pañña” prescription and don’t bother experimenting with drugs or electrodes, like I have:
the author, unimpressed by trans-cranial stimulation in Mountain View, CA