Neurosciences

Nora Bar gives us a magnificent contribution on the subject, through an article in the newspaper La Nacion of Buenos Aires, when he says, making a couple of years, the French neurobiologist Jean Decety discovered that if showed teenagers with videos of people battered behavioral problems, brain’s empathy circuits, are activated them but also centers of pleasure… Aggression, empathy, concern for others, altruism, ethics and morals are central gears of the life of our societies. In recent years the neurosciences have begun to unravel these complex cognitive processes linking us with our family and our descendants, and to society as a whole. It adds that the social cognition seeks to understand and explain how the thoughts, feelings and behavior of the individual are influenced by the real or imaginary other presence as he says it, Facundo Manes, director of Ineco and the center of Neurosciences of the Fundacion Favaloro-. The work carried out in this area are diverse and include different paradigms; for example, the recognition of facial expressions and the processing of emotions. The theory of mind is the human capacity to realize that other people have desires and beliefs different from ours and that their behavior can be explained based on them. This ability to recognize the nature of our beliefs and that of others is vital to life in society and to the transmission of culture.

Explains Manes, the neural substrates that underlie these processes are little known, but investigations are starting to discover them. None sits in a unique structure, but in several areas of the brain that Act integrated and alternately. Something like that happens in the gestation of moral conduct. There are no regions of the mind dedicated to the moral – says Jorge Moll, of the Center for the neuroscience LABS-DOr, Rio de Janeiro-. For any cognitive process requires the orchestration of different types of knowledge work together.

How emerges the moral brain of the interaction between cultural and biological factors? Although it is still in its infancy in this topic, cognitive neuroscience has some answers. For example, there are studies that show that patients who exhibit damage focused on an area of the prefrontal cortex have deficits in behaviors of pride, shame and repentance, and others that are associated with difficulties for attributing intentionality.

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