Why do people give to charity? Why do others spend their time volunteering for important causes? While there is more than one answer for these questions, Dr. Jorge Moll, a neuroscientist, recently co-authored a study that makes an interesting connection between altruism and the brain. Through this, Jorge Moll provides another explanation as to why people may give charitably. There are, of course, many societal and financial reasons that people behave altruistically, but by pointing out humans’ biological response to selfless acts, Jorge Moll and the others responsible for the study go a long way in helping explain why some of us are drawn to these types of behaviors. While the published article goes into great detail about the study performed by Jorge Moll and others, here’s what you need to know the most.
To perform the study, the neuroscientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging to interpret the brain patterns of those involved in charity and other acts of altruism (http://www.fehosul.org.br/fehosul/paulo-chapchap-e-jorge-moll-apresentam-visoes-inovadoras-da-gestao-empreendedora-em-saude/). The findings were shocking, even for the scientists conducting it. In observing the brain, they found that charitable acts “light up” the brain in a way similar to pleasurable acts like athletics. Furthermore, some areas of the brain received even stronger activity from these charitable acts than during other pleasurable acts, possibly indicating that alturism does makes us feel even better than other hobbies.
Jorge Moll has done this type of neuroscience his entire life, and his experience, education, and skill within the field perfectly equips him for breaking new ground in neuroscience. While this study linking altruism and “feel-good” parts of the brain is fascinating, there is no doubt that Moll will continue to produce interesting findings in neuroscience. Because of this, anyone with a passion for neuroscience, especially an academic one, should always be on the look for Moll’s next move. To be specific, keep track of D’Or Institute for Research and Education. Currently, Moll serves as both he president and leading researcher for this organization, and with such prepared and effective leadership, there’s no doubt that D’Or will be making great progress in the near future.