If you’ve ever wondered what truly drives Altruism, neuroscientist Jorge Moll has what you seek. Altruism displays selfless concern for the well being of others. Along with Jordan Grafman, Moll scanned the brains of volunteers to see if Altruism was more than just superior morals (Facebook). What they discovered at the National Institutes of Health was truly remarkable.
Volunteers were asked to choose scenarios where they’d donate to others or keep the money to themselves. When volunteers demonstrated care for others, a primitive section of the brain would light up. This is the same response the human brain gives to food or sex (https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/d-or-institute-of-research-and-education-idor). The experiment suggests that Altruism is pleasurable to the brain and is hard-wired.
Further research had shown that morality has biological roots. Empathy is being recognized as the foundation of morality. While humans can’t get inside the heads of animals to truly experience what they do, we do know that animals can drop their own interests for others. An example of this was shown during an experiment with lab rats. Each time one rat would pick up food to eat, the other rat would receive an electrical shock. Knowing this, the rat who had food eventually stopped eating so that the other’s suffering could stop.
Jorge Moll is the president-director of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education. He also serves as a member of the governing board. Moll studied neurology at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. He received his MD there. In 2003, Moll received his Ph.D. at Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz da Universidade de São Paulo. Moll also serves as the head of the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit. If not for the work of neuroscientists such as Jorge Moll, we would be left with poorly educated guesses rather than getting as close to the truth as possible within limits.