Author Topic: Researchers Discover Region of Brain for Truth  (Read 3656 times)

Offline JC Spencer

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Researchers Discover Region of Brain for Truth
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 03:45:48 PM »
Comments by J. C. Spencer
Researchers in brain function at the California Institute of Technology have discovered the region of the brain where struggles with emotion takes place.  This newly published university research helps substantiate Chapter Nine in my book, Expand Your Mind - Improve Your Brain.  ScienceDaily calls this How Fairness Is Wired In The Brain.  I called it: Your Neurons are HARD WIRED for Truth.

(Quote from Chapter Nine)
False signals, sooner or later, develop into chaos. Lack of any communication is more trust worthy than miscommunication.  False signals make it so you do not know where you are going and that is where you are likely to end up.

Your neurons are HARD WIRED for Truth, and Truth is what holds all things together.  A few years ago I wrote these words: Total Truth gives no false signals.  The flow of even the slightest false witness gives the wrong signal and initiates the flow of wrong energy and matter.  Opinions do not count as Truth.  Because nothing is as it appears, what you perceive as reality is in fact, at least in part, an illusion.  Untruth is an illusion paralleled with deception.*

The main function between components and systems is to flow Truth (no false signals), energy, and matter needed by the other components and systems.

The mind is a wonderful thing to not waste.  When your brain believes wrong is right, it will sincerely make the wrong choice.  I call that negative faith operating on false data.  A hypochondriac may develop an illness in an otherwise healthy body.  The brain obeys the constant signals of welcoming illness because it becomes convinced that the signal is Truth.  Not only is the single hypochondriac affected by this hidden lie, but others as well, including the family, friends, and community.  Any untruth almost always affects many people. (Unquote)

Now for the report on brain function by researchers at the California Institute of Technology.

How Fairness Is Wired In The Brain

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2008) -  In the biblical story in which two women bring a baby to King Solomon, both claiming to be the mother, he suggests dividing the child so that each woman can have half. Solomon's proposed solution, meant to reveal the real mother, also illustrates an issue central to economics and moral philosophy: how to distribute goods fairly.

Now, researchers at the California Institute of Technology have discovered that reason struggles with emotion to find equitable solutions, and have pinpointed the region of the brain where this takes place. The concept of fairness, they found, is processed in the insular cortex, or insula, which is also the seat of emotional reactions.

"The fact that the brain has such a robust response to unfairness suggests that sensing unfairness is a basic evolved capacity," notes Steven Quartz, an associate professor of philosophy at Caltech and author of the study, voicing a sentiment that anyone who has seen children fight over a treat can relate to.

"The movement to look into the neural basis for ethical decision making is only about seven years old," Quartz says. "This is the first study where people made real decisions with real consequences."

The subjects in the study, 26 men and women between 28 and 55 years old, faced a real-world moral dilemma. They started their participation in the experiment by reading a short biography of each of the 60 orphans at the Canaan Children's Home in Uganda. The orphanage would receive a sum of money that would depend on decisions the subjects made. In the end, $2,279 was donated.

While a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine scanned their brains for peak activity regions, the participants each had about eight seconds to decide how to distribute meals among groups of children in different scenarios. In one, their choice would grant either four extra meals to each of two children or six extra meals to one child. The children they didn't choose would get nothing. In another scenario, the kids had been given extra meals and the subjects had to decide whether it was better to take six meals away from each of two kids, or ten meals away from one.

Ultimately the subjects' brains made a choice, and Quartz and his collaborators got to peek into where that calculation was made. "You wonder what is happening at different levels--is your brain's decision right or not?"

When they got to give food to the children, the study participants' orbital frontal cortex, the reward region of the brain, lit up. When instead they had to take food away, the insula region--the emotional processor--was activated.

Quartz suggests that the insula was triggered by the inequity of the choices. The activity varied considerably across subjects, indicating that individual differences in moral sensitivity may be rooted in the strength of the biological responses, he adds.

"The emotional response to unfairness pushes people from extreme inequity and drives them to be fair," Quartz says. This observation, he adds, suggests that "our basic impulse to be fair isn't a complicated thing that we learn."

This study, which appears in the May 8 early online edition of the journal Science, is the first to examine "neuroethics"--the neural underpinnings of moral decision making--with real-world consequences. It may also help guide how to make policy decisions about distributing resources. And, adds Jonathan Katz, chair of Caltech's Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, "It's one of the first studies to bridge humanities research with social science and biology," a central effort at Caltech.

Other authors are former Caltech graduate students Ming Hsu and C├ędric Anen. Hsu is now a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.