Navigation Links
Scientists Tweak Subjects' Brains to Alter Their Moral Choices
Date:3/29/2010

Experiment helps show how and where these decisions are made

MONDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Changing someone's moral response to a situation could be as easy as manipulating a piece of their brain, a new study finds.

Previous research has shown that a brain region called the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), located at the brain's surface above and behind the right ear, is highly active when someone thinks about another person's intentions, thoughts and beliefs.

In this new study, neuroscientists led by Rebecca Saxe of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology disrupted activity in volunteers' right TPJ by inducing a current in the brain using a magnetic field applied to the scalp.

This impaired the participants' ability to make moral judgments that require an understanding of other people's intentions. For example, they were more likely to judge someone's failed attempt to harm another as morally permissible.

Because transcranial magnetic stimulation interferes with the ability to interpret others' intentions, a person must rely more on the outcome of a situation to make a moral judgment, the researchers said.

The study, published in the March 29-April 2 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers "striking evidence" that the right TPJ plays a critical role in making judgments, said lead author Liane Young, a postdoctoral associate in MIT's department of brain and cognitive sciences.

"You think of morality as being a really high-level behavior. To be able to apply (a magnetic field) to a specific brain region and change people's moral judgments is really astonishing," she said in an MIT news release.

The study comes on the heels of similar MIT-based research published last week in Neuron. In that study, Young and colleagues pinpointed the brain's ventromedial cortex as a center for moral decision-making, after studying nine patients with damage to that region.

More information

There's more on how the brain works from Harvard University.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: MIT, news release, March 29, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists in hot pursuit of first new drug for global killer in 50 years
2. Top Scientists Explore the Origin of Life in Annual Lasker Lecture at Scripps Research Institute Florida Campus
3. Anti-obesity drugs unlikely to provide lasting benefit according to scientists
4. University of Michigan scientists identify chemical in bananas as potent inhibitor of HIV infection
5. Scientists Find Stem Cells in Hair That Can Become Skin
6. MRC scientists announce advance in understanding bodys natural defenses
7. Scientists identify microRNA as possible cause of chemotherapy resistance
8. Scientists Find Key to Hormone-Resistant Prostate Tumors
9. University of Michigan scientists discover bone marrow can harbor HIV-infected cells
10. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
11. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... a Property owned by an affiliate of Seavest, has won a prestigious national ... Southern Chester County ambulatory care center (ACC) was named “Best New Development, MOBs ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group, the nation’s ... groups, has aligned with Upstage Lung Cancer in efforts to combat lung cancer, announced ... J. Hennessy, Jr said, “CURE Media Group is honored to team up with Upstage ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... ... David J. Dykeman , Ginger Pigott , and J. ... DeviceTalks West, Dec. 12, 2016, at the Fairmont Newport Beach in California. Greenberg Traurig ... Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group have been featured speakers at every DeviceTalks conference ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... SunView Software aims to redefine IT self-service ... engaging and easy to use. Coming off the heels of a successful launch ... plans to roll out new AI-powered self-service enhancements to help organizations implement effective ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced that it ... up in 2006 as a non-profit organization to unite pharmaceutical and healthcare companies ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... Dec. 9, 2016  Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: ... company focused on the treatment of dementia, today ... a Phase 2b trial evaluating treatment with intepirdine ... with donepezil plus placebo in people with mild-to-moderate ... of intepirdine to treatment was associated with reduced ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- KEY FINDINGS ... Patient warming and cooling devices offer ... lowering the risks of neurological disorders post cardiac arrests, rapid ... warming systems can be segmented into convective warming system, surface ... the stay at hospitals thus, lowering the healthcare costs by ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) has been recognized by the Detroit Free ... To learn more about Diplomat,s career opportunities, visit ... ... ... a research firm specializing in organizational health and workplace improvement. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: