THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF MORAL JUDGMENTS
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Is it possible to investigate moral decisions with the modern tools of neuroscience? On the one hand, social and moral functions are severely impaired in some clinical conditions, including antisocial personality disorder and behavioral disturbances associated with focal brain damage. On the other hand, functional neuroimaging methods allow the mapping of a complex brain network activated during the processing of moral situations. In this paper the author reviews current neurocognitive and social cognitive models of moral judgements, including cognitive control, somatic markers, social response, mentalization, and moral sensitivity. In conclusion, results suggest that, besides the brain areas responsible for 'rational' control processes, a specific network (pericingular cortex, superior temporal sulcus, anterior temporal cortex) of social cognition plays a crucial role in moral decision-making.
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