It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Biopsychology - altruistic love is hard to find.

page: 1
7

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 02:10 PM
link   
ScienceDaily (July 11, 2012) — What can explain extreme differences in altruism among individuals, from Ebenezer Scrooge to Mother Teresa? It may all come down to variation in the size and activity of a brain region involved in appreciating others' perspectives, according to a study published in the July 12th issue of the journal Neuron. The findings also provide a neural explanation for why altruistic tendencies remain stable over time.

www.sciencedaily.com... 3A+Latest+Science+News%29


"This is the first study to link both brain anatomy and brain activation to human altruism," says senior study author Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich. "The findings suggest that the development of altruism through appropriate training or social practices might occur through changes in the brain structure and the neural activations that we identified in our study."


Individuals who excel at understanding others' intents and beliefs are more altruistic than those who struggle at this task. The ability to understand others' perspectives has previously been associated with activity in a brain region known as the temporoparietal junction (TPJ). Based on these past findings, Fehr and his team reasoned that the size and activation of the TPJ would relate to individual differences in altruism.


In the new study, subjects underwent a brain imaging scan and played a game in which they had to decide how to split money between themselves and anonymous partners. Subjects who made more generous decisions had a larger TPJ in the right hemisphere of the brain compared with subjects who made stingy decisions.


Moreover, activity in the TPJ reflected each subject's specific cutoff value for the maximal cost the subject was willing to endure to increase the partner's payoff. Activity in the TPJ was higher during hard decisions -- when the personal cost of an altruistic act was just below the cutoff value -- than during easy decisions associated with a very low or very high cost.


"The structure of the TPJ strongly predicts an individual's setpoint for altruistic behavior, while activity in this brain region predicts an individual's acceptable cost for altruistic actions," says study author Yosuke Morishima of the University of Zurich. "We have elucidated the relationship between the hardware and software of human altruistic behavior."
edit on 13-7-2012 by knightsofcydonia because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 06:43 PM
link   
fascinating. Thank you so much for this.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:12 AM
link   
Nice find. What amazes me is it's taken so long for this to be found out, surely we want to know why most people want to care for each other rather than want to kill each other? Kind of a primal thing to find out. Not well explained by Natural Selection.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by ZeuZZ
Nice find. What amazes me is it's taken so long for this to be found out, surely we want to know why most people want to care for each other rather than want to kill each other? Kind of a primal thing to find out. Not well explained by Natural Selection.

Actually, knowing the intents and beliefs of another person is very important to natural selection because this could very easily increase your chances of survival. I wouldn't be so quick to judge. Keep in mind that modern man is increasingly living in a world of grey matter. The brain has always mattered, of course, but the new brain is separated from the old brain in science. They actually distinguish between primitive parts of our brain and the parts that make us more human.

What this shows is that we have a brain region made for this purpose. And those who tend to have more development in this region also tend to have more altruism.

This doesn't tell us whether it's nature or nurture that's the dominant factor. But it does tell us that the brain will at least meet us halfway by supplying these regions for specific processes.
edit on 14-7-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)




top topics
 
7

log in

join