Neurological basis of morality

“Scientists Draw Link Between Morality And Brain’s Wiring” (WSJ, 5/10/07, Science Journal, Robert Lee Hotz) Describes a recent experiment of neuroscientists at Harvard, Caltech and the University of Southern California that uncovered why most of us have an intuitive sense of right or wrong, i.e., because there is a neural wiring that produces moral judgment. If certain brain cells were knocked out with an aneurysm or a tumor, the ability to think clearly about some issues of right and wrong was permanently skewed. These subject had injured an area, located in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex several inches behind the brow, that links emotion to cognition. “When that influence [the role played by unconscious empathy and emotion] is missing,” said USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, “pure reason is set free.” See also, Moral Judgement Fails Without Feelings (USC, May 2007).

One response to “Neurological basis of morality

  1. Pingback: Neurological basis of morality (II) « Social Capital Blog

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