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  Previous issue (2020. Vol. 9, no. 1)

Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-4977


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2012

Published quarterly

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Brain activity during moral judgement of action 29

Arutyunova K.R.
PhD, Associate Researcher, V.B. Shvyrkov Laboratory of Neural Bases of Mind, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Sozinova I.M.
Researcher, Laboratory of Neurocognitive Research of Individual Experience Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia

Alexandrov Yu.I.
Doctor of Psychology, Head of the Laboratory of the Neural Bases of Mind, Institute of Psychology RAS, Moscow, Russia

Interdisciplinary studies of cognitive and neurophysiological mechanisms of moral judgement often combine tools borrowed from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. In this work, we review the studies of brain activity during moral judgement at different stages of individual development. Generally, it has been shown that moral judgement is accompanied by activations in brain areas related to emotion and social cognition; and these activations may vary across individuals of different age groups. We discuss these data from the positions of the system-evolutionary theory and compare our view with the domain-general approach to cognitive processes and brain activity underlying moral judgement. We suggest that moral judgement, as part of individual behaviour, is supported by activity of functional systems formed at different stages of individual development; therefore brain activity during moral judgement is accounted for by the specificity of distribution of neural elements of functional systems across the brain structures, which is determined by the history of an individual’s interactions with the environment.

Keywords: morality, moral judgement, brain, emotion, social cognition, system-evolutionary theory, subjective experience, functional systems

Column: Neurosciences


For Reference


Analysis of experimental research of brain activity during moral judgement of action was supported by RFFR № 18-313-20003_mol_a_ved. Analysis of experimental research of brain activity during moral judgement at different stages of individual development was supported by MSUPE research project «Social aspects of individual experience development during ontogenesis».

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