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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/31/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Researchers find mysterious area within lateral frontal pole in brain

The human conscience - the inner voice that tells us what is right from wrong, is innate in most people. Many people arrive at a personal morality from either personal experience or religious training. Scientists at Oxford University have now made a startling discovery. They've found a region of the brain that may take responsibility for the decisions we make. 

The human conscience has been likened to 'an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other.'

The human conscience has been likened to "an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/31/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Conscience, front lateral pole, brain, Oxford University


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called the lateral frontal pole, the area in the brain is unique to humans. The pole is described as the size of "a large Brussels sprout," and have many eerie implications.

It's a given that the human brain can monitor decisions it has made. What the newly discovered region does is identify the other paths that it might have been better to take, and acknowledge our mistakes.

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"This region monitors how good the choices are that we don't take," research leader Professor Matthew Rushworth says. "How green the grass is on the other side."

The lateral frontal pole has been described by others as a "kindly-but-firm voice of authority that tells you to go to your room and mull over what you've done, so you'll be sure not to do it again in future."

The Oxford scientists, without apparently realizing what they've done, have physically located the conscience.

Long believed to be some faculty of moral insight in the human mind, an innate sense that one was behaving good or ill, conscience may in fact be as physical as our big toe.

"Science has suddenly become exciting. By next week they'll probably have discovered the exact whereabouts of the soul -- Can you imagine the look on Richard Dawkins's face if they did?" one humorist says.

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