Neural correlates of human virtue judgment

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Paper (help)
Neural correlates of human virtue judgment
Authors: Hidehiko Takahashi, Motoichiro Kato, Masato Matsuura, Michihiko Koeda, Noriaki Yahata, Tetsuya Suhara, Yoshiro Okubo
Citation: Cerebral Cortex 18 (8): 1886-1891. 2008 August
Database(s): PubMed (PMID/18203696)
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhm214.
Link(s): http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/18/8/1886
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Neural correlates of human virtue judgment reports a functional magnetic resonance imaging study on moral cognition.

The experimentors presented 3 kinds of sentences to the brain scanned subjects. The sentences involved:

  1. Moral depravity with moral violation. Should elicit negative moral emotion.
  2. "Moral beauty" with acts like charity, self-sacrifice, altruism and humanitarianism. Should elicite positive moral emotion.
  3. Morally neutral sentences. Used as control condition.

Contents

[edit] Subjects

Subject group #1 (help)
Healthy volunteers
Subjects/♂/♀: 15 /  /
Age: 20.1 ±0.8 (–)
Handedness: Right
Nationality: Japanese
Approval: Institutional Ethics Committee
Databases:

Group 1 of 15 right-handed healthy volunteers were included in the study. The Japanese group had a mean age of 20.1. The study on the human subjects was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee.

[edit] Scanning

MRI Scanning (help)
Mode: fMRI
Scanner: General Electric Signa 1.5T
Type: T2*-weighted

(TR=4000ms, TE=50ms, FA=90°)

Slices: 40 (thickness=3mm ) oriented Transaxial
Size: FOV=240 x 240mm matrix=64 x 64
Laboratory: missing laboratory

For fMRI T2*-weighted scans were acquired with a 1.5T General Electric Signa.

MRI Scanning (help)
Mode: aMRI
Scanner: General Electric Signa 1.5T
Type: T1-weighted Spoiled-grass

(TR=22ms, TE=9ms, FA=30°)

Slices: 124 (thickness=1.5mm ) oriented Axial
Size: FOV=250 x 250mm matrix=256 x 192
Laboratory: missing laboratory

For aMRI T1-weighted Spoiled-grass scans were acquired with a 1.5T General Electric Signa.


[edit] Results

The data was analyze with SPM2 (written "SPM02") and spatially normalized to an MNI template.

[edit] Moral beauty versus neutral

Table 1, part 1 with 5 coordinates

Anatomy
BA
x
y
z
No. vox
t
z
Coordinate search
Plot
1 Left/right visual cortex 14 -90 -8 4.59 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
2 Left OFC -40 32 -20 3.39 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Left temporal pole -50 18 -24 3.51 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Left supplementary motor area -48 0 48 3.52 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex -52 26 14 3.30 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available

[edit] Moral depravity versus neutral

Table 1, part 2 with 2 coordinates

Anatomy
BA
x
y
z
No. vox
t
z
Coordinate search
Plot
1 Left/right MPFC 6 58 14 4.35 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
2 Left pSTS -54 -64 30 3.40 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available

[edit] Critique

  1. Uncorrected p-values are used.
  2. Small volume correct are used.
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