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domingo, novembro 05, 2006

Altruism study identifies the Joy of Giving

According to an article published in The Economist on 14-Oct-2006, and in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, of 17-Oct-2006 giving, to family, friends or to total strangers, makes us feel good.

"Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, wanted to find the neural basis for unselfish acts. They decided to peek into the brains of 19 volunteers who were choosing whether to give money to charity, or keep it for themselves. To do so, they used a standard technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging, which can map the activity of the various parts of the brain."

The results showed that when a person donated, it "engaged the brain's "reward center"- the mesolimbic pathway, thus identifying the physiological basis for the warm glow that accomanies charitable giving". Giving also plays a role in bonding, but more complex situations of conflict between altruism and self-interest also involved "the anterior pre-fontral cortex, a uniquely human part of the brain".

Ainda bem que estamos programados para nos sentirmos algo compensados pelos actos de caridade e altruismo !

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