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Scientists discover moral compass in the brain which can be controlled by magnets

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posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 12:51 AM

Scientists discover moral compass in the brain which can be controlled by magnets< br />

Scientists have discovered a real-life 'moral compass' in the brain that controls how we judge other people's behaviour.

The region, which lies just behind the right ear, becomes more active when we think about other people's misdemeanours or good works.

In an extraordinary experiment, researchers were able to use powerful magnets to disrupt this area of the brain and make people temporarily less moral.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 30-3-2010 by Dock9]

[edit on 30/3/2010 by Mirthful Me]

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 12:51 AM
As astonishing as it is alarming, imo

This article appears to claim that our morality can be manipulated --- perhaps even knocked-out temporarily (or permanently, who knows) --- by non-invasive application of 'transcranial magentic stimulation'

My head's still spinning from the implications< br /> (visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 12:59 AM

Scientists have discovered a real-life 'moral compass' in the brain that controls how we judge other people's behaviour.
The region, which lies just behind the right ear, becomes more active when we think about other people's misdemeanours or good works.

In an extraordinary experiment, researchers were able to use powerful magnets to disrupt this area of the brain and make people temporarily less moral.

The study highlights how our sense of right and wrong isn't just based on upbringing, religion or philosophy - but by the biology of our brains.

Dr Liane Young, who led the study, said: 'You think of morality as being a really high-level behaviour. To be able to apply a magnetic field to a specific brain region and change people's moral judgements is really astonishing.'

The moral compass lies in a part of the brain called the right temporo-parietal junction. It lies near the surface of the brain, just behind the right ear.

Think of the applications to which this technology could be put by the wrong people, for the wrong reasons

But hey, I just realised, my judgement of 'wrong hands and wrong reasons' is just 'something behind my right (lol) ear ' speaking

Wonder what's behind my left ear ? Does it have a different 'moral compass' ?

Will we, in the future, blame 'lack of right ear morality' for crime, etc ?

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:01 AM
reply to post by Dock9

Star and Flag OP

This will go a long way in my further attempts at PSI research.

I find it applicable because of this.

Although most of the human brain can work the software from any part. (I.E. Damaged areas) I have found certain areas of the brain are assigned to process certain functions.

Their are several external regulators on the brain that under certain stimulus will provide certain responses... So they say space next to the right ear for moral processing...

Thank you op is nice to know

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:05 AM
reply to post by Dock9

Actually I do want to point out the distinction I am mentioning....

The software is ran through the hardware there.... Not necessarily the only possibility of influence... I.E. the program is stored on that piece of hardware.

Has anyone looked over left hand vs right hand on this...

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:16 AM
reply to post by ripcontrol

Amazing you should mention 'Lefties' so soon after I deleted my own quesion on the same issue

You're clearly much more well-versed on an entire raft of issues than am I. So the fact you've mentioned the 'Left vs Right' question reassures me that maybe I'm not quite as dumb as I believe, lol

Thanks for that

As you can see from the article linked in the OP, the information above was obtained from an online newspaper. I looked to see if they'd linked the source, but no joy. However, the article does name the researchers (Dr Liane Young, who led the study -- of Massachusetts Institute of Technology) so possibly scientific news sources will provide more in-depth info, and it's possible they might respond if you directed your enquiry to them. Hope so, because as I've said, I immediately wondered if left-handers' biological moral compasses might be differently situated. Wondered too, if in some people, this 'moral compass' might be variously located

In the meantime, does anyone know how I can edit the thread-title to say 'magnets' rather than 'nagnets', please ? I've already attempted to correct it, but when I returned to Recent Posts, there was 'nagnets' again (makes me chuckle each time I see it )

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:21 AM
This is why I like, the name say's it all. this story goes a little deeper than the Daily Mail is letting on. I was going to start a thread about it but I think posting it here will do. I think you will be shocked by the following.

This new finding, from MIT, should cause scientists to more closely examine the risks to human health posed by mobile phones and other wireless, personal technologies. — M.B.

MIT neuroscientists believe they have isolated the brain region — just behind the right ear — where moral judgements take place.

And they can suspend someone’s ability to judge right from wrong, simply by generating a magnetic field near the same spot where many of us hold our cellular phones and wireless, Bluetooth, headsets.

It goes even deeper here:

The technique used by the MIT scientists, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), has been described as one that creates “virtual lesions” on the brain.

The US military also hopes to use TMS to keep soldiers fighting, without the need to stop for sleep.

The Sci Tech Heretic

Another linked DARPA article about the military using it on soldiers to improve combat:

Sleep deprivation is a fact of modern combat. Current operations depend upon the warfighter’s ability to function for extended periods of time without adequate sleep. The widespread operational demand for optimal performance in sleep-depriving conditions demonstrates the necessity for development of methods to safely combat sleep deprivation and to prevent the associated degradation of performance.

The goal of the Preventing Sleep Deprivation program is to define and implement approaches to prevent the harmful effects of sleep deprivation, and to provide methods for recovery of function with particular emphasis on cognitive and psychomotor impairments. Among the approaches currently under investigation include novel pharmaceuticals that enhance neural transmission, nutraceuticals that promote neurogenesis, cognitive training, and devices such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. The approaches discovered in this program will greatly increase our soldiers’ ability to function more safely and effectively despite the prolonged wakefulness inherent in current operations.

Sounds like sleep deprivation is not their main concern here.

[edit on 30-3-2010 by timewalker]

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:30 AM
reply to post by Dock9

Hi all,

This is my first reply post in a while but I had a thought after reading this article and it had me thinking about the so called POLICE state across the world. Now before I present my thought; I don't believe this is the excuse, I merely want to offer a potential reason to explain certain behaviours of the world's security forces albeit soldiers, police, traffic wardens etc...

If a magnet can manipulate a person's moral judgement, could magnets be embedded into security forces protective head-wear? Helmets, police hats, traffic warden hats, security staff's hats etc... and could this be activated by a radio transmitter, i.e connected to their radio's??

Just look at the Youtube videos about G20 in Pittsburgh, video's on gungho soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. If these people were of sound mind surely their moral judgement would be questioning why they're doing something bad. I just have a thought, technology like this is available and manipulating through magnet hypnosis on service personnel to hurt honest and innocent civilians.

Just my thoughts, what do you think?
Best regards,

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:49 AM
None of thats truly new... we've known for ever that morality and emotion is at least partially due to physical make up... for instance shock therapy and lobotomising 'antisocialites' of the serial killer variety and schizophrenics even... schizophrenia and other psychological disorders involving lowered Affect and Empathy (morality) have higher occurrence in MZ twins ie. It must have at least partial genetic basis. Its not jsut something that develops.

And electrical stimulation even as I just said has been used for ever to treat/effect the brain, as we know it works via electrical impulse. There have been countless tests directly on the brain with electrodes you probably know the famous thing where the girl goes 'I smell burnt toast'.

Magnets having an electrical charge are no different, they will effect the brain this way too, if morality has physical basis (and this study is not just correlational, which seems to me).

People often report strange feelings/phenomenon/sightings in areas of electro-magnetic interference and sometimes even static electrical, I think this is probably the cause of most paranormal experience.
I have some pdf's somewhere called Something in the Cellar where this guy does tests on electromagnetic fields and frequency (vibrations) on peoples experience in haunted house. He worked at some company graveyard shift and saw and heard things. He discovered some electrical appliance worked at the same frequency as the human eye and thus it made him see things as it messed with perception and created greyish floating blobs in his vision, and sound.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 03:57 AM
reply to post by Dock9

This article appears to claim that our morality can be manipulated --- perhaps even knocked-out temporarily (or permanently, who knows) --- by non-invasive application of 'transcranial magentic stimulation'

Just wait 'til they patent this technology and release the commercial device... Something like "iBrain"...

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 04:07 AM
reply to post by Dock9

It's just weird 'cos aside of the article, there's a text box with this advertising:

Buy Neodymium Magnets Online

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 04:10 AM
I wanted to post this but didn't do so as I assumed it has already been posted, but that turned out to be a way to switch off fear. It shocks me that these developments would enable the creation of a zombie army, which I had always deemed to be nonsense.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 06:41 AM
reply to post by Dock9

We may need to find the captain of this boat and shanghi him...

(The one we are both in)

Its the old quote about knowledge... Its not superior knowledge but knowledge of more advanced information...

You found this first and opened an area I had meant to peruse in my personal studies but hadnt got to at level I wanted. It made me search and I actually found a good spot here in research on the brain.

I am the first to admit one of my comments may be off but my experience in life on the software is based on this.

My sister in law was born with a significant part of her brain encased in dead cells. With time she learned what would normally have been done years later. The brain rerouted its information and used other areas to process basics... Walking, talking eating ect.

I truly applaud you because it is a great find to me

As for the weapons development it is now a lot more dangerous for non lethals. The development can be used with out the physical attachments. The specific areas of he brain act like electronics and osculate along certain frequencies.

Lets just say brainwashing through subliminal just got a lot more interesting. You can remove part of the brain that might store moral objections.... Yes the brain may adapt but with proper training post subliminal, it can reset a moral code...

great find again... keeep em coming

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 07:48 AM
interesting article and post.
My input for now is based on my own experiences throughout life.
Morals are a component of Spirit in my opinion.
I and my morals have survived
a) a roman catholic (hypocritical and cruel ) upbringing,
b) more jobs than I can say where the company/employer publicity is customer first, and behind the scenes rip every "buzzard" off if you think you can get away with it.
c) A marriage,(and lovers/would be lovers since and before ) ,"friends",all persons who profess a certain outlook in life yet live the opposite to their proclaimed belief's.
d) a zillion encounters with fellow humans from all walks of life ,
all judging others while never looking inside at themselves,
and I could probably list all the way to Z in points over my life .
But ,
what I want to say,is morals IMO, are ,at the end of the day, subject to one's own Will ,Spirit and Essence.
In the moment, one may choose to be moralistic or "a-moralistic" depending on the circumstance ,environment , external (and internal as in particular weaknesses to that self) ,emotional state etc etc.
But I feel this area of our being, is outside, in reality, of our brain processes although have the ability to be affected by them......if we let them.
For me, my sense of morals are the essence of my being ,and my driver .
Nobody, organisation, or tv screen has ever been able to manipulate me beyond what I perceive to be just and true.
Perhaps, because I am an inherent sceptic, I still have my powers of critical thinking despite all the brainwashing attempts in the world over the last few decades.
I know for a fact I would have said No,no matter what duress I was placed under, if I were involved in this experiment for example.

The scary thing about such psych experiments as this is,
that when humans are not using their own powers of critical thinking and sense of right and wrong and hand these thought processes over in responsibility to a "big brother" or such, then yes this article can be seen to be feasible.
This is our challenge at the moment as a species/society I feel.
This is the quantum leap we as a singular human consciousness need to take (and are at the critical point for taking) at this time in history so we don't have to repeat the karmic cycle yet again as all civilisations have risen and fallen to date.
I hope and believe this article to be wrong.
Our morals are tied to as lowly (physical) evolved an organ as our brain .
only for as long as we choose to allow it to be so.
For Morals are a part of Spirit/human essence and not of psychophysical processes I believe.
cheers for a thought and debate worthy thread.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 08:07 AM
I'm really enjoying and appreciating the responses and thoughts elicited by the information imparted in the OP-article

Mobile phones ! So obvious -- when someone points it out

Robot-squads' head-gear ! Again --- of course !

'Developing technology in order to improve sleep-deprived forces' performance ' --- uh huh, uh huh. And it wouldn't have a more insidious agenda -- course not, we believe every word you say

And as Rip's pointed out, the ability of the brain to re-route. The ability of the brain to confound ! Like it
As with the literal Brainless Wonders (don't take offence please) i.e., those whose brains 'come and go', yet who nevertheless manage to gain Math honours and function normally (in total ignorance in almost all cases, that their brain departed for a time, leaving something akin to a dried skin or leaf as token -- only to return at a later time, with no appreciable detriment to the body supporting the head or functioning generally)

' The brain is the hardware, the Mind the software' .... always liked that one

Ditch the mobile (cell) phones please


Edited to thank whomever it was who corrected 'magnets' in the thread title

[edit on 30-3-2010 by Dock9]

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 08:15 AM
Might be something to that whole tin foil hat thing.

All kidding aside, I can see it now.

"Your Honor, I request that you find my client innocent of all charges against him due to temporary insanity. He was listening to his I-pod at the time he committed his crimes. As we all know, the ear buds attached to the I-pod contain small but extremely powerful magnets and these magnets affected my client's moral compass. He never would have shot and killed eleven people, but, for the effect of the magnet. Therefore he was not responsible for his actions at that time.

As soon as we are done here I am filing a class action suit against every company that requires a magnetic field to be brought near the head in order to use their product. Thank you."

I have to wonder who paid for this study?

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 08:30 AM
lol, guys, TMS isn't like a little magnet you can put in a hat.

TMS uses a large butterfly coil and pulses of ca. 2 teslas. It also requires exact placement using structural MRI to ensure it acts in the required region of the neocortex (we are talking very specific cortical regions). It further needs to applied in a very particular fashion, as poor application readily leads to seizure.

And, finally, we don't need TMS to make people act monstrous or become amoral. See WWII.

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up. Rebecca's been doing some great work.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 08:41 AM
Great catch. S&F

...melatonin points out that the TMS application needs to be very specific to generate these specific results. While that may be true...

We need to consider the range between the extremes - "no effect" v/s "acute definitive effect." Current medical practice and scientific medical research does NOT acknowledge any points on the path from 0 (no effect ) to 180 (acute) degrees. Clearly, there will be progressively worsening effects at say 45 and 90 degrees before the acute symptom becomes evident at 180 degrees.

I think the key terms here are "low level" and "chronic" impacts. Worth studying.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 08:42 AM
This is a great little (2008) article, pertinent to Ripcontrol's posts in this thread:

The bizarre stories of people whose brains have rewired themselves

Scientists used to think a brain injury resulted in permanent damage to the brain's functions, but new research suggests this is not necessarily the case.

'When one area of our brain is damaged we now know from scans that the functions of that area are distributed elsewhere,' says Dr Keith Muir, a senior lecturer in neuroscience at Glasgow University.

When the brain is injured, the systems learn to link up differently - sometimes with surprising results.

Just cherry-picking from the article

More at link

Richard Murray, 32, a financial planning manager, suffered a stroke three years ago and as a result now speaks in a French accent.

Richard says: 'Until I had my stroke, I spoke with a broad Brummie accent. Now people assume I am a born-and-bred Frenchman, yet I have only ever been there twice briefly on holiday and speak only the basic French I learnt at school.
(these cases, no matter how many you hear about, are always fascinating, aren't they )

James Wannerton (right), an IT contractor from Blackpool, has synaesthesia, a condition which means two senses are stimulated at once. For James, 49, hearing or seeing words stimulates his sense of taste.

He says: 'When I hear a word, I actually taste it. Some words taste really nice and some really unpleasant. It's something I can't switch it off. I even dream with the sense of taste strong in my mouth.

'It can be quite distracting, like having ringing in your ears. I've always had it - one of my earliest memories is saying The Lord's Prayer during assemblies when I was four or five and getting loads of different tastes, such as bacon, entering my mouth.

'When I was younger, I would pick my friends on the basis of the way their names tasted.

Tommy McHugh, 58, a divorced father of two from Liverpool, was a builder until he had a brain haemorrhage which almost killed him in 2001. Tommy is now a prodigious artist even though he had never picked up a paintbrush before.

He says: 'My urge to draw is like an addiction. My brain is so full of ideas for new sculptures or paintings that I struggle to sleep. I never dreamed my life would take this path.

'As a youngster, I was in trouble for fighting and left school at 15. I had never been interested in art or poetry, but the haemorrhage changed all that.

Cases detailed more fully at link:

Appears they're pinning our brains to the wall in the manner of captured butterflies. Let's hope we're even faster at evasive action and proficient as moving-targets

Mind over matter ? Could we successfully instruct our alleged 'moral compass' to relocate to somewhere behind our knees ? Or would our instructions be superfluous and would our minds automatically take evasive action and substitute a blob of fat in that 'behind right ear' location, whilst tucking our alleged moral-compasses safely into our sinuses or our rear-ends ?

I'm being facetious of course, but seriously, is it possible that we would rapidly adapt to this latest announcement of technological invasion and manipulation ?

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 08:44 AM
Well, if this is what is being reported, imagine what they are already capable of doing...

It seems to me we are on the verge of a train wreck here. Combined with marketing and CorpGov the potential uses of this are horrifying.

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