There are many challenges for physicians today in their medical practice, mostly because of the issue of morality, ethics and where a doctor should draw the line to make the most difficult decisions. But what is going behind the brains of human beings when they decide to do a good or bad thing? One of the few people who spent time to dig into the problem is Jorge Moll and the team of neuroscientists in his research group.
The Pleasant Feeling of Helping
One of the more stunning results of Jorge Moll’s study about the wiring behind social behavior was published in The Washington Post. It was revealed in their 2006 survey that their subjects who were tested on what to do in specific scenarios had positive emotional signals activating all throughout their body when they put others’ interests first. The part of their brain that lights up when they help people is the same area that gets activated when the mind feels pleasure from food or sex. Jorge Moll and his team then argued that doing the right thing is not something reserved for the morally superior people. It is shown that helping seems to be an essential human and natural activity.
The team also declared that such findings would prove that the morality or lack thereof of a person has biological roots. To sacrifice one’s interests for others seems to be the tendency that nature has intended, and it is something that now can be strongly verified by science. They also firmly believe from their research that the active element that ties up all the aspects of morality is empathy.
The Research Head
We should probably also state here that Jorge Moll is the current Director and President of D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR). It’s one of the most trusted research centers today that are based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and it retains the reputation of being a top-notch research center for neuroscience and social behavior studies. Mr. Moll was also the Elected Affiliate Member of the Brazilian Academy Sciences in 2008.