May 1, 2018 · Neuroscience Research

Jorge Moll is a distinguished researcher and president of D’or Institute of Research and Education. He received an MD in Neurology in 1989 and a PhD in experimental physiopathology in 2000. Much of his research involves the neurological research on morality. Jorge Moll tries to understand how morals are developed and what causes us to behave morally. To quantify his results, he uses his neuroscience expertise to analyze the areas of the brain activated when eliciting moral behavior. The combination of hard experimental data with the understanding of the social psychology of humans is why Moll is so decorated in his area of research. To this day, Moll has 136 research papers and has been cited 5,966 times.

 

In the article “If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Only Be Natural,” Moll examines the altruism of subjects. Participants are provided with a scenario where they have the option of either donating money to charity or keeping it for themselves. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagining (fMRI) reveals that the participants were more likely to donate as it allowed the participants to feel “pleasure” from doing so. Apparently, this is a primitive instinct that is engrained within us and is not part of an evolutionary process. When Jorge Moll used fMRI they noticed that the brain region that was activated corresponds to reward and pleasure. The article also asserts that animals may also gain pleasure from unselfish behavior. Another article titled “5 Way Giving is Good For You” explains why altruism is beneficial. Including the reasons mentioned earlier, giving is good for our health as it allows us to feel emotionally stable. People also experience increase social support and cooperation from being altruistic. Lastly, altruism teaches people gratitude and can become contagious. Some limitations to this research include altruism outside of the community (https://twitter.com/jorgemoll). Further studies should focus on altruism when involving complete strangers and whether or not these strangers adopt altruistic characteristics after being exposed to altruism many times.

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