Recent research at the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies (CNS) has not only found that moral sentiments are real and measurable, but we have been able to manipulate these mechanisms in human brains to cause people to be moral in the lab. (Psychology Today)
The division of labor by the two cerebral hemispheres—once thought to be uniquely human—predates us by half a billion years. Speech, right-handedness, facial recognition and the processing of spatial relations can be traced to brain asymmetries in early vertebrates (Scientific American)
In the new study, researchers reasoned that if one incorporates a used tool into the body schema, his or her subsequent bodily movements should differ when compared to those performed before the tool was used.
Greene, J., Cushman, F., Stewart, L., Lowenberg, K., Nystrom, L., & Cohen, J. (2009). Pushing moral buttons: The interaction between personal force and intention in moral judgment. Cognition, 111 (3), 364-371 DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.02.001
Cultivating a persona of fairness and impartiality, David Buller has written a critique of theory and results from evolutionary psychology. To those unfamiliar with the primary literature, some of his claims may seem plausible. That has not, however, been the reaction of those who know this literature intimately.
Founded in the late 1980s in the ashes of sociobiology, this field asserts that behaviors that conferred a fitness advantage during the era when modern humans were evolving are the result of hundreds of genetically based cognitive "modules" preprogrammed in the brain. Since they are genetic, these modules and the behaviors they encode are heritable—passed down to future generations—and, together, constitute a universal human nature that describes how people think, feel and act (Newsweek.com)
The article claims to question the whole field of evolutionary psychology but really only deals with specific studies, largely because has quite a limited view of the approach and is strangely wed to biological determinism. (Mind Hacks)
A forensic examiner talks about decision making and developing brains in youth, for an audience of youth advocates. See also: Brain Science as a Means of Understanding Delinquency and Substance Abuse in Youth, The Teen Brain, and Teen Brain, an award-winning documentary on neuroethics and the juvenile justice system.