Jorge Moll: How Does the Brain Process humane such humane acts as selflessness

In one of his quests of understanding human nature and why people do what they do, Neurologist Jorge Moll, embarked on a study to identify how different humane acts impacts the brain. The study was informed by the fact that doing good often makes a person feel good. He, however, sought to understand how such good actions as donating money helping the needy, showing affection and attention to others as well as how any other considered ‘good deed’ impacted the doer’s brain. Jorge sought the assistance of fellow researcher and psychologist Joao Ascenso, in a study conducted at the D’Or Institute for Research and Education.




Through Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Jorge and his partner found out that these humane acts activated the Subgenual Cortex and Septal areas of the brain. According to researchers, these form the two parts of the human brain associated with the feelings of attachment and sense of belonging. They are also referred to as the “reward centers” and have been proven to be “turned on” when an individual engages in pleasurable activities. The two researchers also revealed that receiving something for oneself also produces similar results.


The D’or research institute founder also revealed that the two parts of the brain are also activated during the bonding between a mother and child or by a romantic relationship between couples. He would conclude by arguing that when one acts in favor of a cause or principle dear to them, they activate the brain system that helps foster better relational bonds.


About Jorge Moll


Jorge Moll graduated from the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro with Bachelors in medicine. He would later enroll for a medical residence course in Neurology at the same institution before furthering his medical studies with a Ph.D. in experimental Pathophysiology from Sao Paulo University.


His professionalism and experience in the medicine and neurology have earned him boisterous positions with different institutions around the country. For instance, Jorge was in 2012 elected to join the International Neuroethics Society as well as the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in 2008. It also enabled him to pioneer the founding of D’or Institute for Research and Education where he currently serves as the president, board member, and senior researcher