Innovation and Neuroscience meet with Jorge Moll

The Neuroscientist, Jorge Moll, has proven with clinical research that compassion and selflessness are necessary for human survival. He has performed a study on volunteers that focused on their emotional responses when participating in charitable acts. He gave them the choice to either give money to charity or keep it for themselves. When everyone decided to donate money, Moll was surprised to see how their brain would physically react.

Jorge Moll obtained his MD in Neuroscience and completed his residency at the Federal University of Rio de Janiero. He received his PHD in Experimental Pathophysiology at Sao Paulo University ( Currently, he is the president and board member of the D’Or Institute of Research and Education in Rio de Janiero. He is also the Director of the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit and Neuroinformatics Workgroup.


The Research and Study

During his research at the National Institute of Health, he discovered that blood flow and neuron activity in the brain increased when his volunteers engaged in charitable acts. He monitored his research by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results proved that giving was pleasurable and was met with a chemical reaction in the brain.

Molls discovered, when money was taken away from the volunteers and given to a charity involuntarily, the brain still lit up in the areas associated with pleasure. The idea of giving to a charity, and helping someone in need, makes people feel good. People enjoy helping each other even if they may need to make a small sacrifice.

Since giving to others is related to being rewarded, the brain reacts by releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical released by the brain. The areas of the brain that show increased activity when giving are the prefrontal cortex, caudate, nucleus, accumbens and insula. These are the same parts of the brain that light up when you eat chocolate,receive money,do drugs or have sex.

Moll is dedicated to helping people who suffer and struggle with adverse medical conditions. He is always working on finding solutions to serious illness. He will continue his ground-breaking research and important contributions to the medical community.