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) . n.• “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior” • “[count noun] a particular system of values and principles of conduct” • “the extent to which an action is right or wrong” (Oxford Dictionaries.d.

(Encyclopedia of Children’s Health. and laws. 2005) . based on social and cultural norms. MORAL DEVELOPMENT • Is the process through which children develop proper attitudes and behaviors toward other people in society. rules.

THEORIES ON MORAL DEVELOPMENT .

Gilligan .Piaget 2.Kohlberg 3.1.

PIAGET .

KOHLBERG .

GILLIGAN .

MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND NEUROSCIENCE .

MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIOR UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT OF NEUROBIOLOGICAL SCIENCES By Darcia Narvaez and Jenny Vaydich .

Main Objective of the Research Journal • To find out and discuss the significant relationship between Neuroscience and Moral Development .

Three Claims that Assert the Role of Neurological Science to the Research on Moral Development .

1.“A healthy moral functioning requires proper brain functioning” • Some brain damages lead to moral problems or dysfunctions • A proper moral function would need the brain to develop normally .

“Brain studies corroborate some. but there are still some other traditional concepts that they disagree upon . but count against other.2. traditional concepts of moral functioning“ • Some brain studies support some traditional concepts of moral functioning.

electronic." . "Brain function interventions (surgical.3. chemical or genetic) can correct and/or enhance some aspects of moral functioning.

“A healthy moral functioning requires proper brain functioning.” 2. chemical or genetic) can correct and/or enhance some aspects of moral functioning.“ The third claim ("Brain function interventions (surgical. “brain studies corroborate some. traditional concepts of moral functioning. 1. but count against other. electronic.The researchers only focused on the first two claims.“) has too many problems for it to be proven or supported: • The ethics revolving around the use of brain interventions are still being debated upon • Neuroscience has not progressed enough for it to reach a point wherein it has developed a way to make brain interventions .

in order for a phenomenon to be considered as a moral behavior. p. there can be no distinctly moral phenomena in the first place’ (Narvaez & Lapsley. 1983) • "asserts that ‘a behavior has no particular moral status unless it is motivated by an explicit moral judgment'“ • "moral behavior is one that is motivated by an explicit recognition of the prescriptive force of moral rules’ and ‘in the absence of explicit judgments.Kohlberg defined Morality according to the ‘Principle of Phenomenalism’ (Kohlberg et al. This reason or cause needs to be one that is rationally developed (or in other words. Basically: A moral behavior needs to have a logical reason or a cause for it.. . in the absence of rational deliberation. something really well thought out of). 141). 2005.

this is. like pursuing goals and judgment. now. There are now studies which show that decisions that are of higher mental processes. do not need really need conscious thought or choice.However. . a fast fading concept.

Intuitive Mind • “internal multiple unconscious systems that are operated in parallel. • Result: motor neurons were already active even before the conscious decision was made • Conclusion: Unconscious systems may be directing an action even before the person was consciously aware of making a decision of acting out or not. Deliberative Mind • externalities being processed implicitly • Ex. Libet's (1985) experiment on measuring the brain's neuronal excitation using an electroencephalogram (EEG). . Social Context 2.Two Ways in which a Decision is Produced: 1. often automatically and without our awareness” • Ex.

these patients exhibit behavior perceived as antisocial (such as shoplifting. (1999) • "examined children whose prefrontal cortex had been damaged before the age of 16 months. Damasio.. in a study by Damasio et al. • The damage left them unable to acquire social conventions and moral rules throughout life.EMOTION • Many see emotion as an obstacle to rationality or decision making • However. 1992). • Normal in language and intelligence. it was shown that making a decision or reasoning without emotions "is deficient and ineffective for general decision making". • Was tested through brain damaged patients • Depending on where the damage was. (Anderson et al. moral development appears to be arrested when the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) is damaged at a young age (Eslinger et al. 1999). Phinneas Gage . 1999.. sexually aggressive behavior and non-responsiveness to punishment) • Thus. the patient was either "unable to generate emotional cues or to follow those cues when they arise“ • Anderson et al. a syndrome resembling psychopathy. • Areas of the brain related to moral sensitivity may also be damaged during adulthood • Ex.

Ex. Phinneas Gage .

Moral Judgment 3.METHOD USED Rest's Four Component Model of Moral Functioning • By James Rest • An organizational or explanatory framework that describes the psychological processes for moral functioning • Proposes that moral behavior requires: 1. Moral Sensitivity 2. Moral Action Skills . Moral Motivation/Focus 4.

. Blum. Moral Sensitivity • “refers to cognitive and emotional information processing” • Examples of Cognitive and Emotional of Processes: 1. Moral Imagination • “consists of conceptualizing alternative pathways for action as well as possible ramifications from and for those involved” (Somerville. 2006) 3. 2000). 2007) 2. which greater expertise facilitates” (Narvaez & Gleason. 1994).1. Moral Perception • “picking up or apprehending morally-relevant cues in context" (Narvaez. 1993. Empathic Sensitivity to others in need • frequently the initiator of the other processes that lead to moral action (Hoffman.

and Limbic Regions . Superior Temporal Sulcus.1. Moral Sensitivity • involves the activation of a network that includes the Anterior Prefrontal Cortex. Medial Orbital Frontal Cortex.

2. the Ventral Posterior Cingulated Cortex and the Ventromedial and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex. Moral Judgment • “reasoning about and judging moral action” • Experiment by Robertson et al. (2007) • Concern for justice issues • correlated with increased activation of the left Intraparietal Sulcus • Concern for care issues • related to increased activation of the Thalamus. .

. 2001) : • Frontopolar Cortex (FPC) • Medial Frontal Gyrus (MFG) • Right Anterior Temporal Cortex • Lenticular Nucleus • Cerebellum . Moral Judgment • Found activation in (Moll et al.2.

2002. • Situational Press (Zimbardo. 386). participants could not refuse unfair offers . 2004. 1978) • Social Influence (Hornstein.3. Kahneman et al. 71) • We use our Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) to resist unfairness. p. 2007.. 1995. Hornstein et al. 1976) • Mood and Energy (Isen. • When the DLPFC was disrupted. 1970. 1975) • We find satisfaction in being punished.. 1998.. • Factors to consider: • Environmental Affordances (Gibson.. 2007). 1972. • Contextual Cue Quality (Staub. as well as to recurring or chronic goals” • Moral Motivation • ‘implies that the person gives priority to the moral value above all other values and intends to fulfill it’ (Narvaez & Rest. 2003) • (Greene. Isen & Levin. 1979).. Sanfey et al. de Quervain et al. Moral Motivation or Focus • Moral Focus • “relates to the immediate goal of an individual in a particular circumstance. We find being unpunished for a transgression unsatisfying (Carlsmith et al. p.

4. Moral Action • "encompasses the abilities and capacities necessary to complete moral actions“ • dependent on perceptual capabilities (the agent’s view of what is occurring and what actions are possible) within the current motivational orientation (what actions fit with current goals) .

• Patients with lesions in the Right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPC) • unable to behave in socially acceptable ways • But their judgment of appropriate behavior is not damaged (Anderson et al. This enables people to pursue fairness goals . 1999) • The right DLPC controls self-interest impulses..

. • Result in increased displays of disorganized and impulsive behavior • People who have this complication have poor attention and impaired behavior regulation.• Damage to the Prefrontal Cortex • May be due to early neglect. later abuse or exposure to environmental stress.

but these patients are unable to regulate their behavior.• Damage to the Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC) • A disconnection between knowledge and action • They know right from wrong. .

153) • The individual may know the rules of behavior but does not follow them and instead acts poorly. with little foresight or precision . p. 2002.• Damage to the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) • Leads to ‘frontal lobe crime’ (Goldberg.

BRAIN FORMATION .

ATTACHMENT .

1995) . 202) through the social construction of the brain (Eisenberg.ATTACHMENT • The processes of ‘attachment’ deeply marks the brain Neurobiologically • Better called the foundational phase of infant brain development • Important for : • Lifetime Brain Development • Emotion Regulation • Social Behavior • Moral Behavior • The infant’s nervous system is dependent on experience • Relies on the caregiver to act as an ‘external psychobiological regulator’ (Schore. 2001. p.

Brain Damage may still be cured • Brain structures and functions are malleable. Experiences throughout the lifetime influence perception and sensitivity. . unless the damage is severe there is the possibility for change. • Even though there appear to be critical periods for brain function development. • Ex.

g.QUESTIONS • Does brain damage excuse an immoral act? • Should we give pardon to immoral actions made by people who fall behind in moral development due to inhibited brain development (e. coincides with brain development. then should not we incriminate those who caused the inhibition of a person’s brain development rather than the person who has brain abnormalities in their brain’s maturity? . caused by child abuse)? • If moral development.