Today’s daily update from the Chronicle of Philanthropy included a report on neurological studies of philanthropy:
Charity Comes Naturally to Humans, Some Studies Say
Neuroscientists studying human empathy, altruism, and morality often find that doing good is hard-wired into the brain — and is an action that often produces pleasure, reports The Washington Post.
Although morality is often thought of as a set of restrictions imposed upon man’s more selfish, animal instincts, many scientists are finding evidence that helping others and understanding right from wrong is intrinsic to the human brain. The brain may be “rewarded” with pleasure when it makes a moral choice, the newspaper reports.
You can read several recent articles in The Chronicle of Philanthropy about studies of the brain and altruistic or charitable behavior, including one in which scientists at Duke University found that altruism is linked to the perception of external meaning: a more basic recognition than empathy, the researchers said. And the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that giving to charity evoked the same pleasurable brain activity as sex, drugs, and good food.)
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