What is Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

What is, what is not?

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a brain region important for moral decisions.

in particular, sacred values ​​are associated with activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. it does not necessarily mean a religious belief. sacred; any value of particular importance to a person may be a political stance or anything that he cannot bear to be criticized or feel belonging to.

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is important in ethical decisions, but there is no evidence that overactivation of this region will make a person “moral”. if your saints disable your cost-benefit analysis, your ability to reason, you won’t mind turning into a killing machine.

To understand this, we can look at fmri studies on jihadists. (NCBI)

the subjects selected in the study were those who clearly supported al-Qaeda. what is being researched is to compare the activities in the brains of those who are willing to do that when it comes to “fighting and dying for a case” with those in the brains of those who are not.

When participants are not willing to fight and die for the cause of a case, more connections are made between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. The point is that your subjective impulses are suppressed by your logic. your ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity is not stray, your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is effective in your decision.

on the contrary, when the participants are willing to fight and die for a cause, the two regions operate more independently of each other. in this case, the ability to reason does not have an effect on the individual’s strict subjectivity.

So what happens when the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is damaged?

mit press journals, in addition to lack of emotion, value-based decision-making mechanisms are adversely affected, inappropriate social behavior increases, confabulation occurs, and the ability to think for the future or counter-factual is impaired. (science direct)

the loss of one’s ability to think counter-factually results in fundamentalism.


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