Share This Article:

Moral Dilemma Judgment Revisited: A Loreta Analysis

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:5583KB) PP. 624-640
DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.38066    4,665 Downloads   6,265 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: Recent neuroscience investigations on moral judgment have provided useful information about how brain processes such complex decision making. All these studies carried out so far were fMRI investigations and therefore were constrained by the poor temporal resolution of this technique. Recent advances in electroencephalography (EEG) analysis provided by Low Resolution Tomogray (Loreta), Principal Component (PCA), Correlation and Regression Analysis improved EEG spatial resolution and made EEG a very useful technique in decision-making studies. Methods: Here, we reinvestigate previous fMRI study of personal (PD) and impersonal (ID) moral dilemma judgment, taking profit of these new EEG analysis improvements. Results: PCA analysis disclosed three different patterns of brain activity associated with dilemma judgment. These patterns are proposed to disclose the neural circuits involved in benefit and risk evaluation, calculating intention to act and controlling decision-making. Regression analysis showed that activity at some cortical areas favors action implementation by increasing intention to act, while activity at some other areas opposes it by decreasing intention to act. Comparison with Existing Methods: Compared to the previous fMRI results, Loreta and PCA revealed a much greater number of cortical areas involved in dilemma judgment, whose temporal and spatial distribution were different for ID compared to PD. The present paper suggests that whenever final temporal details of the decision making process are desired, EEG becomes the tool of choice as compared with fMRI. Conclusions: The presented results are discussed from the utilitarian point of view that proposes adequacy of human action being dependent upon how much pleasure and fear/pain they are associated.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

A. Rocha, F. Rocha and E. Massad, "Moral Dilemma Judgment Revisited: A Loreta Analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 3 No. 8, 2013, pp. 624-640. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.38066.

References

[1] A. F. Rocha, M. N. Burattini, F. T. Rocha and E. Massad, “A Neuroeconomic Modeling of Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),” Journal of Biological Systems, Vol. 17, 2009, pp. 597-622.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S021833900900306X
[2] J. D. Greene, R. B. Sommerville, L. E. Nystrom, J. M. Darley and J. D. Cohen, “An fMRI Investigation of Emotional Engagement in Moral Judgment,” Science, Vol. 293, 2001, pp. 2105-2108.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1062872
[3] J. D. Greene, L. E. Nystrom, A. D. Nystrom, A. D. Engel, J. M. Darley and J. D. Cohen, “The Neural Bases of Cognitive Conflict and Control in Moral Judgment,” Neuron, Vol. 44, 2004, pp. 389-400.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2004.09.027
[4] A. Shenhav and J. D. Greene, “Moral Judgments Recruit Domain-General Valuation Mechanisms to Integrate Representations of Probability and Magnitude,” Neuron, Vol. 67, 2010, pp. 667-677.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.07.020
[5] J. Bentham, “The Principles of Morals and Legislation (Great Books in Philosophy),” 1988 Edition, New York. Prometheus Books.
[6] R. D. Pasqual-Marqui, “Standardized Low Resolution Brain Electromagnetic-Tomography (sLORETA): Technical Details,” Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Vol. 24, 2002, pp. 5-12.
[7] R. Adorni and A. M. Proverbio, “The Neural Manifestation of the Word Concreteness Effect: An Electrical Neuroimaging Study,” Neuropsychologia, Vol. 50, 2012, pp. 880-891. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.01.028
[8] M. Esslen, R. D. Pascual-Marqui, D. Hell, K. Kochi and D. Lehmann, “Brain Areas and Time Course of Emotional Processing,” NeuroImage, Vol. 21, 2004, pp. 189-1203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.10.001
[9] J. J. Foxe and A. C. Snyder, “The Role of Alpha-Band Brain Oscillations as a Sensory Suppression Mechanism during Selective Attention,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 2, 2011, pp. 1-13
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00154
[10] C. M. Gómez, J. Marco-Pallarés and C. Graub, “Location of Brain Rhythms and Their Modulation by Preparatory Attention Estimated by Current Density,” Brain Research, Vol. 1107, 2006, pp. 151-160.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2006.06.019
[11] Y. Jiang, J. Lianekhammy, A. Lawson, C. Guo, D. Lynam, J. E. Joseph, B. T. Gold and T. H. Kelly, “Brain Responses to Repeated Visual Experience among Low and High Sensation Seekers: Role of Boredom Susceptibility Psychiatry Research,” Neuroimaging, Vol. 173, 2009, pp. 100-106
[12] T. K. G.Maeno, K. Iramina, F. Eto and S. Ueno, “EventRelated Potential P2 Derived from Visual Attention to the Hemi-Space. Source Localization with Loreta,” International Congress Series, Vol. 1270, 2004, pp. 262-265.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ics.2004.04.034
[13] F. T. Rocha, A. F. Rocha, E. Massad and R. X. Menezes, “Brain Mappings of the Arithmetic Processing in Children and Adults,” Cognitive Brain Research, Vol. 22, 2005, pp. 359-372.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2004.09.008
[14] A. F. Rocha, F. T. Rocha, M. N. Burattini and E. Massad, “Neurodynamics of an Election,” Brain Research, Vol. 1351, 2010, pp. 198-211.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.06.046
[15] A. F. Rocha, F. T. Rocha and E. Massad, “The Brain as a Distributed Intelligent Processing System: An EEG Study,” PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2011, Article ID: E17355.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017355
[16] C. L. Harenski and S. Hamann, “Neural Correlates of Regulating Negative Emotions Related to Moral Violations,” Neuroimage, Vol. 30, 2006, pp. 313-324.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.09.034
[17] S. W. Chang, J.-F. Gariépy and M. L. Platt, “Neuronal Reference Frames for Social Decisions in Primate Frontal Cortex,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 16, 2010, pp. 243-250. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.3287
[18] A. Ikkai and C. E. Curti, “Common Neural Mechanisms Supporting Spatial Working Memory, Attention and Motor Intention,” Neuropsychologia, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2011, pp. 1428-1434.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.12.020
[19] R. L. E. P. Reniers, R. Corcoran, B. A. Vollm, A. Mashru, R. Howard and P. F. Liddle, “Moral Decision-Making, ToM, Empathy and the Default Mode Network,” Biological Psychology, Vol. 90, 2012, pp. 202-210.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.03.009
[20] L. van der Meer, N. A. Groenewold, W. A. Nolen, M. Pijnenborg and A. Alema, “Inhibit Yourself and Understand the Other: Neural Basis of Distinct Processes Underlying Theory of Mind,” Neuroimage, Vol. 56, 2011, pp. 2364-2374.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.03.053
[21] P. J Olesen, P. J, H. Westerberg and T. Klingberg, “Increased Prefrontal and Parietal Activity after Training of Working Memory,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 7, 2003, pp. 75-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn1165
[22] Y. Prabhakaran, K. Narayanan, Z. Zhao and J. D. E. Gabrieli, “Integration of Diverse Information in Working Memory within the Frontal Lobe,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 3, 2000, pp. 85-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/71156
[23] F. Milton, A. J. Wills and T. L. Hodgson, “The Neural Basis of Overall Similarity and Single-Dimension Sorting,” NeuroImage, Vol. 46, 2009, pp. 319-326.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.01.043
[24] M. Neta and P. J. Whalen, “Individual Differences in Neural Activity during a Facial Expression vs. Identity Working Memory Task,” Neuroimage, Vol. 56, 2011, pp. 1685-1692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.02.051
[25] H. Y. T.Takeuchi, H. Hashizume, Y. Sassa, T. Nagase, R. Nouchi and R. Kawashim, “Failing to Deactivate: The Association between Brain Activity during a Working Memory Task and Creativity,” NeuroImage, Vol. 55, 2011, pp. 681-687.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.11.052
[26] M. A. Thornton and A. R. A. Conwa, “Working Memory for Social Information: Chunking or Domain-Specific Buffer?” Neuroimage, Vol. 70, 2013, pp. 233-239.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.12.063
[27] S. Tu, T. H. Li, J. Jou, Q. Zhang, T. Wang, C. Yu and J. Qiu, “An Event-Related Potential Study of Deception to Self Preferences,” Brain Research, Vol. 1247, 2009, pp. 142-148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2008.09.090
[28] T. P. Zanto, M. T Rubens, A. Thangavel and A. Gazzale, “Causal Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Top-Down Modulation of Visual Processing and Working Memory,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 14, 2011, pp. 656-661.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.2773
[29] T. Hosokawa, K. Kato, M. Inoue and A. Mikam, “Correspondence of Cue Activity to Reward Activity in the Macaque Orbitofrontal Cortex,” Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 389, 2005, pp. 146-151.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2005.07.055
[30] E. T. Rolls, H. D. Critchley and J. V. Verhagen, “The Representation of Information about Taste and Odor in the Orbitofrontal Cortex,” Chemosensory Perception, Vol. 3, 2010, pp. 16-33.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12078-009-9054-4
[31] M. Platt and S. A. Huettel, “Risky Business: The Neuroeconomics of Decision Making under Uncertainty,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 11, 2008, pp. 398-403.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn2062
[32] A. Schnider, V. Treyer and A. Buck, “The Human Orbitofrontal Cortex Monitors Outcomes even When No Reward Is at Stake,” Neuropsychologia, Vol. 43, 2005, pp. 316-323. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2004.07.003
[33] Y. K. Takahashi, M. R. Roesch, R. C. Wilson, K. Toreson and P. O’Donnell, “Expectancy-Related Changes in Firing of Dopamine Neurons Depend on Orbitofrontal Cortex,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 14, 2011, pp. 1590-1597.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.2957
[34] C. M. Ramnani, J. L. Wilson, P. Jezzard, C. S Carter and S. M Smith, “Distinct Portions of Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Are Activated by Reward Processing in Separable Phases of Decision-Making Cognition,” Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 55, 2004, pp. 594-602.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.11.012
[35] M. P. Martin, “Acute Administration of Pregabalin Attenuates Amygdala and Insula During Emotional Face Processing and Anticipation in Healthy Volunteers Biological Psychiatry,” Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 73, No. 9, 2013, pp. S249-S249.
[36] R. A. Anderson and H. Cui, “Intention, Action Planning, and Decision Making in Parietal-Frontal Circuits,” Neuron, Vol. 63, No. 5, 2009, pp. 568-583.
[37] A. P. Fontana, J. M. Kilner, E. C. Rodrigues, M. Joffily, N. Nighoghossian, C. D. Vargas and A. Sirigu, “Role of the Parietal Cortex in Predicting Incoming Actions,” NeuroImage, Vol. 59, No. 1, 2012, pp. 556-564.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.07.046
[38] M. D. Hesse, C. M. Thiel, K. E. Stephan and G. R. Fin, “The Left Parietal Cortex and Motor Intention: An EventRelated Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study,” Neuroscience, Vol. 140, No. 4, 2006, pp. 1209-1221.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.03.030
[39] E. Jefferies, “The Neural Basis of Semantic Cognition: Converging Evidence from Neuropsychology, Neuroimaging and TMS,” Cortex, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2013, pp. 611-625.
[40] M. C. Keuken, A. Hardie, B. T. Dorn, S. Dev, M. P. Paulus, K. J. Jonas, W. P. M. Van Den Wildenberg and J. A. Pineda, “The Role of the Left Inferior Frontal Gyrus in Social Perception: An rTMS Study,” Brain Research, Vol. 1383, 2011, pp. 196-205.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2011.01.073
[41] K. Sakai and R. E. Passingham, “Prefrontal Interactions Reflect Future Task Operations,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2002, pp. 75-81.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn987
[42] S. W. Chang, J. F. Gariépy and M. L. Platt, “Neuronal Reference Frames for Social Decisions in Primate Frontal Cortex,” Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2010, pp. 243-250. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.3287
[43] U. Frith and C. D. Frith, “Development and Neurophysiology of Mentalizing,” In: C. Frith and D. Wolpert, Eds., The Neurosciences of Social Interaction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003, pp. 45-75.
[44] M. P. Feinstein, D. Leland and A. N. Simmons, “Superior Temporal Gyrus and Insula Provide Response and Outcome-Dependent Information during Assessment and Action Selection in a Decision-Making Situation,” NeuroImage, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2005, pp. 607-615.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.12.055
[45] E. T. Rolls and F. Grabenhors, “The Orbitofrontal Cortex and Beyond: From Affect to Decision-Making,” Progress in Neurobiology, Vol. 86, No. 3, 2008, pp. 216-244.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.