Sunday, July 15, 2007

Do right woman, do right man.

Morality might be hard-wired into the brain, like language. So say the cognitive neuroscientists investigating the neural basis of moral cognition. I couldn't find a link to the actual study for your reading pleasure, but another study by the same neuroscientists, Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman, shows that making charitable donations activates the brain's reward system in the same way that receiving monetary rewards does.

I don't know about you, but I love finding out there's a physiological basis for stuff like moral behavior. This is why I'm a fan of the enteric nervous system, which is responsible for your gut feelings.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting...One of my roommates in college had two adopted brothers with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Apparently, one of the effects of FAS is difficulty discerning right from wrong (or controlling "bad" impulses). My roommate said the brother with more severe FAS showed signs that he absolutely could not control his behavior at times, although he did sometimes feel sad after behaving badly. In his case, the alcohol his mother consumed during pregnancy damaged that part of his brain that controls moral behaviors.

    Kind of applies, right? I find it interesting and fantastic that scientists are bothering to study this.