Jorge Moll: Takes A Look At Brain Waves As Humans Give
Jorge Moll is a neuroscientist who received his MD from the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, Brazil and his PhD at Sao Paulo University.
In 2006 while working at the National Institute of Health, Jorge Moll and his colleagues, Jordan Grafman, researched the relation between morality and the brain. The research was able to show that the impulse to altruistic behavior was not part of some superior moral compass, but that it was basic to the brain’s normal functioning. Thinking about altruistic acts activated parts of the brain that were associated with pleasure such as when one was eating food or having sex.
Jorge Moll’s research is tied to a growing base of knowledge linking neuroscience to the realm of morality. Evidence suggests that morality is not relegated to the decisions that people make but also the processes through which individuals arrive at such decisions. For instance, it seems that some individuals who would be considered immoral actually may be suffering from brain damage or other abnormalities in the brain that prevent them from making decisions we would see as morally based. These findings would cause us to rethink the way we judge immorality.
Jorge Moll has voiced his dedication to cultivating world class research in his home country of Brazil and projects such as the one he worked on with Grafman at NIH have helped him to develop the capacity for achieving this goal. He serves as president and board member of D’Or Institute of Research and Education, where he pursues his interests in “artificial intelligence, cognitive systems and how machines and brains can work together.”
Jorge Moll’s research has sought to come up with new ideas for dealing with the problems of the 21st century. He has stated that is it not useful to hold onto ideas for too long but to either “run with them or move on to the next one as quickly as possible.” His research on the relation between morality and brain functioning is an example of him following his own advice.