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:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of ... collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event ... wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning ... Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, ... therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder ... pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los Angeles based ... the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles written by ... as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says “I enjoy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in ... immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology ... personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 ... to enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy ... EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a ... targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , ...
(Date:9/13/2017)...   OrthoAtlanta has been named the official orthopedic ... (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship ... Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is ... campaign, participating in many activities leading up to, and including ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: