Jorge Moll, alongside Jordan Grafman, had been carrying out research to scan the brains of individuals who were asked to imagine being in a scenario where they’d be requested to donate money to the less fortunate or keep it for themselves. Both Jorge and Grafman work at the National Institute of Health as neuroscientists. The results obtained from the experiment showed that the volunteer’s brains opted to donate money rather than keeping it for personal use. The primitive part of the brain that lights up when presented with sex or food was activated by opting to be generous. Thus, the experiment showed that Altruism was pleasurable, hard-wired, and basic to the brain.


Jorge Moll has been studying to identify whether morality is hard-wired in the brain through undertaking psychological experiments and carrying out brain imaging. It would be fascinating to determine whether this phenomenon, altruism, is also applicable to animals. Therefore, a test was carried out between rats. When one rat was given food, the other one would receive an electric shock. When the first rat noticed this, it simply forewent eating. This research shows that morality is biologically rooted in human beings and animals. If this is the case, then it is quite worrying how morality has been degraded as it appears to be an evolutionary tool that is used by nature to assist species to propagate and survive.


About Jorge Moll


Jorge Moll enrolled in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to pursue medicine from where he graduated in 1994. At the same university, he undertook a course on Neurology residency which he completed in 1997. He acquired a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathophysiology at the Sao Paulo University in 2004. Currently, he is the founder and head of the D’Or Institute of Research and Education as well as the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit.


From the current research being carried out by Jorge Moll and other researchers, it is appropriate to say that people who have brain damage at the ventromedial prefrontal cortex do not have the ability to acquire moral solutions when faced with ethical dilemmas. This has led to scientists rethinking about how the so-called immoral persons are judged.