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:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Neurotechnology , a ... time and attendance tracking products: the new NCheck Cloud Bio Attendance cloud-based service ... uses biometric face recognition to enable users to check in and out from ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... Columbus OH. Dr. Justin Harper, Founder of Juvly Aesthetics in Ohio and ... to sit on the 2017 National Advisory Board for Allergan’s Facial Aesthetics National Advisory ... propel the clinic from a small start-up to number 78 in the country based ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... Conference in Atlantic City March 13-16, was a busy spot this year. Liz ... staff discussed strategies for preventing outbreaks among camp communities during the upcoming 2017 ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are ... in the healthcare workforce, according to a survey recently released by PracticeMatch ... candidate leads to healthcare employers of physicians and advanced practice clinicians. , Only ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... Claire, WI (PRWEB) , ... March 27, 2017 ... ... accepting new patients for custom smile makeovers without requiring a referral. ... including orthodontics, gum disease treatment, cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. Whether patients have ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... TAIPEI, Taiwan , March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... medical device company, is pleased to announce ... Series A investment of Panther Orthopedics, Inc., a ... pioneering innovative dynamic fixation solutions for orthopedic extremity ... market continues to expand rapidly, primarily due to ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 The National ... health and data analytics company, signed a Memorandum ... improving healthcare delivery in the region. ... Global Health Research and Technology (BIGHEART) at NUS ... several topics related to healthcare IT and medical ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... Summary This report provides all the ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. Description The Partnering ... into the partnering activity of one of the world,s leading ... prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of the most up ... will be delivered in PDF format within 1 working day ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: