Electric stimulation applied to the right TPJ changes how much we take into account mitigating circumstances during moral judgments
In a recent study, we asked adult participants to decide how much blame or punishment someone else deserved for hurting another person. During their judgments, participants' brain activity was modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the right temporo-parietal junction (right TPJ), a brain region known to be important for moral judgments. We found that the stimulation specifically affected how much people took into account that the harm was caused accidentally. The study shows that the right TPJ plays a causal role in our moral judgments by helping us process the mitigating circumstances that could reduce someone's moral responsibility. This findings has been published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2016).
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