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:5/26/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. ... is proud to announce a new, informational blog post on insurance options. If a ... checking insurance plans may help save time and money. Visiting an in-network provider for ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... “Cactus Jack: Against All Odds”: the story of Coach Cactus Jack and ... Odds” is the creation of published author, Walter Hubbard, a retired wildlife and fisheries ... child Jane. Walter. Walter and Jane have three adult children and a granddaughter. ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in enterprise ... one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec will ... utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control to ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... STATEMENT OPPOSING ... vehemently opposed to Donald Trump’s budget, “A New Foundation for American Greatness—President's Budget ... demonizes the poor, marginalizes underserved populations, undermines productivity, and destroys the social safety ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Accordant Technology, a trusted IT solutions provider, ... analytics-first approach, layered with machine learning, that provides real-time visibility into the performance, ... to the edge. Through the new partnership, customers get the real-time situational insight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... 2017  As the specialty pharmacy industry and ... make the revolutionary shift from volume-based to value-based ... positive patient outcomes and shaping the future of ... away from clinical trials and toward data that ... drug therapy utilization in precise patient populations. Therigy ...
(Date:5/12/2017)... TORONTO , May 12, 2017  The China and ... low-pressure washing technology that consumes less water, energy and detergent, and ... their first product LaughingU, a shoebox-sized washing machine that washes and ... ... First Product, LaughingU, is compact, and does not require an external ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Radiology has become the number one diagnostic ... spiraled to the number one ranking as a result.  ... before as the most complete and reliable method for ... back pain an MRI may confirm a suspected herniated ... in entirely different treatment protocols.  In these circumstances, patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: