Navigation Links
Activation of a Particular Brain Region Predicts Altruism: Study

Researchers have discovered that activation of a particular brain region predicts whether people tend to be selfish or altruistic.// The results of this Duke University Medical Center study were published in the Sunday, Jan 21 online edition of Nature Neuroscience.

"Although understanding the function of this brain region may not necessarily identify what drives people like Mother Theresa, it may give clues to the origins of important social behaviors like altruism," said study investigator Scott A. Huettel, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center.

The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and will be published in the February 2007 print issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Altruism describes the tendency of people to act in ways that put the welfare of others ahead of their own. Why some people choose to act altruistically is unclear, says lead study investigator Dharol Tankersley, a graduate student in Huettel's laboratory.

In the study, researchers scanned the brains of 45 people while they either played a computer game or watched the computer play the game on its own. In both cases, successful playing of the game earned money for a charity of the study participant's choice.

The researchers scanned the participants' brains using a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which uses harmless magnetic pulses to measure changes in oxygen levels that indicate nerve cell activity.

The scans revealed that a region of the brain called the posterior superior temporal sulcus was activated to a greater degree when people perceived an action -- that is, when they watched the computer play the game -- than when they acted themselves, Tankersley said. This region, which lies in the top and back portion of the brain, is generally activated when the mind is trying to figure out social relationships.

The researchers then characterized the p articipants as more or less altruistic, based on their responses to questions about how often they engaged in different helping behaviors, and compared the participants' brain scans with their estimated level of altruistic behavior. The fMRI scans showed that increased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus strongly predicted a person's likelihood for altruistic behavior.

According to the researchers, the results suggest that altruistic behavior may originate from how people view the world rather than how they act in it.

"We believe that the ability to perceive other people's actions as meaningful is critical for altruism," Tankersley said.

The scientists suggest that studying the brain systems that allow people to see the world as a series of meaningful interactions may ultimately help further understanding of disorders, such as autism or antisocial behavior, that are characterized by deficits in interpersonal interactions.

The researchers are now exploring ways to study the development of this brain region early in life, Tankersley said, adding that such information may help determine how the tendencies toward altruism are established.



Source-Newswise
SRI
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Non-Coding RNA Vital For Gene Activation And Protein Expression
2. Specific Changes In A Particular Gene Found To Increase The Risk of Alzheimer’s Diseas
3. Use of Cellular Phones associated with Increased risk of Brain Tumors
4. Brain death – How to cope with it
5. “Brain fingerprinting”- The new lie detectr
6. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Direct to Brain.
7. Virus Combats Brain Tumour
8. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Directly to Brain
9. Control of anger disorder connected to Brain Dysfunction
10. High Levels of Protein Linked to Brain Shrinkage
11. Brain damage affects artistic skill
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Lori G. Cohen ... LLP’s Atlanta office, will speak at the American Conference Institute’s 21st Drug & ... is also a Lead Sponsor of the conference. , Cohen, who chairs the firm’s ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... For over twenty-four years, Doctors on Liens has published a directory ... high quality medical care. When the company started in 1997, the directory was a ... day and the now ten-page directory features a vast array of medical specialists ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... announces the launch of its 60-day free trial program for all of the ... make the offer a truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique desktop risers ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. ... Mediaplanet, Dr. Murthy explains how he was inspired to practice medicine at an early ... medicine is about more than making diagnoses and prescribing medicine,” he states. “It is ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, will be included in the 2016 “Guide to ... to exceptional professionals based on the amalgamation of their education, experience, and professional ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016 ... to hydroxyurea (HU) in Complete Hematologic Response (CHR) ... of ropeginterferon alfa-2b versus HU AOP will ... trial CONTINUATION-PV to obtain European marketing authorization in the coming ... to the FDA as it seeks approval for commercialization in ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... NEW ORLEANS , Dec. 2, 2016  Former Attorney ... Foti, Jr., Esq. , a partner at the law firm ... has commenced an investigation into Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: ... Bloomberg published an article titled "U.S. Charges in ... an "antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, begun about two ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... Dec. 3, 2016  Results from the Phase II ... anti-P-selectin antibody, reduced the median annual rate of sickle ... (1.63 vs 2.98, p=0.010) in patients with or without ... data are being featured in the official press briefing ... (ASH) Annual Meeting and presented during the Plenary Scientific ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: