Jorge Moll: Studying Altruism and its Positive Effects

Altruism is a human characteristic that is described as the strong urge to help someone who needs assistance. Two neuroscientists from Brazil decided to study the altruistic behavior of humans, and they wanted to find out the origin of this human characteristic. The first study about the correlation of altruism and the human mind was conducted in 2006, and the neuroscientists, led by Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman, had to invite several volunteers who would be going under several tests and examinations. The volunteers were collected inside an empty room, and inside, Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman explained to them what they are going to do. The two neuroscientists explained the objective of the study, and they gave instructions to the volunteers on what they are going to do while the experiment is going on. Follow Jorge Moll on Linkedin.

When the experiment began, the volunteers had to close their eyes and think about two different scenarios – one is about generosity, and the other is about selfishness. Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman then check the brain scanner to see any activities that are happening inside the brain. After the experiment, they reviewed the scanner, and they were surprised to see that the brain is active when an individual thinks about generosity. The opposite is true when one thinks about selfishness, and the brain does not react at all. Watch this video on

Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman also found out about a small portion of the brain which releases hormones and chemicals that are responsible for the pleasure that an individual feels when he or she gives to charities or any person who is in need. The study that they conducted proves that the altruistic behavior in humans is innate in everyone and the urge to help someone is a natural reaction to the environment.

Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman shared the research that they made to the scientific community, and a lot of the scientists have congratulated them for a well-researched study which tackles about the human brain. The study conducted by Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman managed to answer some questions, but it also opened a lot of doors that have to be answered later on.