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Friday, 20 July 2012

turn the other cheek

From: Reanimation Library
"Putting a cellular phone closer to your ear alters brain activity. A new study shows the brain’s sensitivity to the radiation emitted by cellular phones. According to researchers from the National Institutes of Health, one hour of cellular phone usage stimulated brain activity in the brain part nearest the phone’s antenna. However, the benefit or harm of heightened brain sensitivity has not been established."
— Lee Ann Montgomery, Headline News Bulletin

"The volume of a small brain region influences one’s predisposition for altruistic behavior. Researchers from the University of Zurich show that people who behave more altruistically than others have more gray matter at the junction between the parietal and temporal lobe [TPJ], thus showing for the first time that there is a connection between brain anatomy, brain activity and altruistic behavior. Why are some people very selfish and others very altruistic? Previous studies indicated that social categories like gender, income or education can hardly explain differences in altruistic behavior. Recent neuroscience studies have demonstrated that differences in brain structure might be linked to differences in personality traits and abilities. Now, for the first time, a team of researchers from the University of Zurich headed by Ernst Fehr, Director of the Department of Economics, show that there is a connection between brain anatomy and altruistic behavior."
University of Zurich

"[...] a brain region known as the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is highly active when we think about other people's intentions, thoughts and beliefs. In the new study, the researchers disrupted activity in the right TPJ by inducing a current in the brain using a magnetic field applied to the scalp. They found that the subjects' ability to make moral judgments that require an understanding of other people's intentions — for example, a failed murder attempt — was impaired. The researchers, led by Rebecca Saxe, MIT assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences, report their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of March 29. The study offers 'striking evidence' that the right TPJ, located at the brain's surface above and behind the right ear, is critical for making moral judgments, says Liane Young, lead author of the paper. It's also startling, since under normal circumstances people are very confident and consistent in these kinds of moral judgments, says Young, a postdoctoral associate in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences."
— Jennifer Hirsch, EurekAlert!

"As for now, one may wonder if our increasing exposure to ambient electro-magnetic fields has any effect on moral development. Does the magnet really need to be pressed right up against that particular spot in the skull in order to influence morality, or are we all being gradually altered by long-term, constant bombardment from EMF exposure? Does talking on the phone influence moral development, given the EMF exposure near the TPJ? Given that studies show that in workplace environments, EMF exposures often are up to 10,000 times greater than the average exposure, it might explain some notorious corporate scandals so celebrated in the news. In any event, the next time you use a cell phone, you might want to hold it to your left ear, and even at that, you might want to invest in an EMF shielding device, unless you're a moral relativist at heart."
— Jon Barron, Baseline of Health Foundation

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