Doctor Jorge Moll is the founder of IDOR (D’Or Institute of Research and Education), a senior researcher of the CBNU (Cognitive Neuroscience Unit and Neuroinformatic) within IDOR Workgroup in his native city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a Partner at VHM Ventures located in San Jose, California. He received his medical degree from Sao Paulo University in Neurology and Experimental Pathophysiology and has several awards and distinctions in Neuroscience.
His team of neurologists has been studying how our brain functions in our moral and ethical decision-making process. A study led by Dr. Moll and his fellow neuroscientist colleague Dr. Jordan Grafman in 2006 raised the question of how our brain’s composition affects our moral and altruistic decision process.
The study was conducted by brain scans and participants were given two ethical scenarios, to either keeping the money found for themselves or donating it to charity. The study found that when participants decided to donate the money to charity, the part of the brain that is associated with pleasure is stimulated and not the high-minded moral and ethical thinking. The result of the study proves that we give to charity or if we decide to do something that benefits others, it’s because it makes us feel good. This study proves centuries-old philosophical and spiritual proverb that generosity gives us a feeling of fulfillment.
The importance of this study provides a captivating argument that empathy is the foundation of our morals. Studying our brain’s physiology is having us think more closely about the role our brains have in our moral and ethical decision process.
The article titled, Neuroscientist Jorge Moll Helps Uncover Basis of Human Morality, by Brian Harris published on April 4, 2018, on the Release Fact website further stated that this study has raised philosophical concerns about how our ethical choices and personal responsibilities are reduced to a mere neural architecture. Other philosophical concerns are about the responsibilities placed on individuals with clinical brain damage.
The 2006 study led by Dr. Moll and Dr. Grafman is paving the way towards the importance of our brains architecture and chemistry in our morals and ethical decision-making process.