Some people are addicted to food. Others seek gratification from sex. And then there are those who get high off helping others. While sex, food, and charitable giving may seem completely unrelated, neuroscientist Jorge Moll can literally see the similarities. Go to fehosul.org.br for more related information.
Jorge Moll’s interest in the brain started long before he went to medical school. Moll was curious about a human’s ability to make moral choices and solve intricate problems. Moll’s area of expertise is the part of the brain where the capacity for moral and social choices resides.
While studying areas of the brain that are activated during experiments that examine moral issues, Jorge Moll and his colleagues discovered that dopamine is released when you decide to help others. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is thought of as the “feel good” chemical and is responsible for the euphoria you experience when you have an orgasm, taste your favorite food, or engage in exercise.
Of course, there are natural variations in the amount of dopamine released for different people. For example, some people get a large release of dopamine when eating chocolate, while others don’t. Some people go the gym every day to get their fix. And yet others feel the rush when they help other people.
Regardless of the amount of dopamine released, Jorge Moll pinpoints the exact regions of the brain that are responsible for moral judgements and choices. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, Moll can see that when you decide to put others’ needs before your own, it activates a “primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex.” (https://www.livescience.com/52936-need-to-give-boosted-by-brain-science-and-evolution.html)
In addition to this primitive area of the brain that is activated, another reward center “lights up”: the area responsible for the awe reaction to an adorable baby or puppy.
If Jorge Moll’s research tells us only one thing, it is that our brains are hard wired to be nice to each other. After all, taking care of one another is the only way to ensure the survival of our species.