La contribución de la neurociencia a la comprensión de la conducta: El caso de la moral
Silva, Jaime R
Prenafeta, María Luisa
Revista médica de Chile 2009 Mar; 137(3): 419-25
The neuro-scientific study of moral actions and judgments is particularly relevant to medicine, especially when assessing behavior disorders secondary to brain diseases. In this paper, moral behavior is reviewed from an evolutionary and neuro-scientific perspective. We discuss the role of emotions in moral decisions, the role of brain development in moral development and the cerebral basis of moral behavior. Empirical evidence shows a relationship between brain and moral development: changes in cerebral architecture are related to changes in moral decision complexity. Moral development takes a long time, achieving its maturity during adulthood. It is suggested that moral cognition depends on cerebral regions and neural networks related to emotional and cognitive processing (i.e. prefrontal and temporal cortex) and that moral judgments are complex affective and cognitive phenomena. This paper concludes with the suggestion that a satisfactory clinical/legal evaluation of a patient requires that the neural basis of moral behavior should be taken into account.
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