Scientists have demonstrated they are able to alter people’s moral judgment by using magnetic pulses on a certain part of the brain, the BBC reports. The team has identified a part of the brain, just above the right ear, which appears to affect morality. In a study of 20 volunteers, the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used magnetic pulses on cell activity in this region to impair their notion of right and wrong. In one test, subjects were exposed to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for 25 minutes before reading stories involving morally questionable characters they were then asked to judge; in a second, they were subjected to a short TMS burst while being asked to make a judgment. In both cases, the team found that morally dubious acts with a “happy” ending were more often deemed acceptable.
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