VERY SPECIAL PLACE: Does the human conscience reside in a physical place within our brains?
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.
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.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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