Affective response to one’s own moral violations

S. Berthoz, J. Grèzes, J.L. Armony, R.E. Passingham, R.J. Dolan
NeuroImage. 2006-06-01; 31(2): 945-950
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.12.039

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1. Neuroimage. 2006 Jun;31(2):945-50. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.12.039. Epub
2006 Feb 20.

Affective response to one’s own moral violations.

Berthoz S(1), Grèzes J, Armony JL, Passingham RE, Dolan RJ.

Author information:
(1)Department of Psychiatry, IMM, University Paris V, France.

Morality depends on a set of cultural rules that regulate interpersonal
behaviour and provide a basis for social cohesion. The interpretation of moral
transgressions and their affective consequences depends on whether the action is
intentional or accidental, and whether one is the agent of or witness to the
action. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to
investigate whether the amygdala is involved in judging one’s own moral
violation of social norms. In this study, participants (n = 12) were asked to
make evaluations regarding the degree of inappropriateness of social behaviours
described in stories in which they themselves, or someone else, transgressed
social norms either intentionally or accidentally. Consistent with our
hypothesis, the amygdala was activated when participants considered stories
narrating their own intentional transgression of social norms. This result
suggests the amygdala is important for affective responsiveness to moral

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.12.039
PMID: 16490367 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus