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:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... property (IP) to its specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand ... certificate programs in health law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... one that has a significant negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a ... The results, published online this week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... Degeneration” for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Long Island Chapter on June 4, 2016, ... public. , Dr. Maisel, founder of Retina Group of New York , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Leadership of Life Science ... the organization has earned its ISO 13485 certification, indicating the company’s quality control ... rules and policies associated with ISO quality standard 13485. , BSI Group ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... campers a multitude of activities from daily practices, arts & crafts, discussions, and ... Directors Amber East-D’Anna and Christy Evans have combined backgrounds in kids’ yoga, collegiate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers from ... organs from the inside out.  This disease has put ... on her children and grandchildren to leave her home.  ... Diana,s family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if there ... car, and Diana is left to wait for the ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTM ), a ... today announced that Jeffrey H. Burbank , Chief ... of investor conferences. Where applicable, a webcast of the ...   ... Friday, June 10, 2016 1:30 p.m. ET ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced Andrea Heslin Smiley , VMS ... company,s business development and sales team, exploring new opportunities for VMS to empower patients ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: