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Moral Dilemma Judgment Revisited: A Loreta Analysis

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Recent neuroscience investigations on moral judgment have provided useful information about how brain processes such complex decision making. All these studies so were fMRI investigations and therefore constrained by the poor resolution of this technique. Recent advances in electroencephalography (EEG) analysis provided by Low Resolution Tomogray (Loreta), Principal Component (PCA), Correlation and Regression Analysis improved EEG spatial resolution and make EEG a very useful technique in decision-making studies. Here, we reinvestigate previously fMRI study of personal (PD) and impersonal (ID) moral dilemma judgment, taking profit of these new EEG analysis improvements. Compared to the previous fMRI results, Loreta and PCA revealed a much greater number of cortical areas involved in dilemma judgment, whose temporal and spatial distribution were different for ID compared to PD. Regression analysis showed that activity at some cortical areas favors action implementation, while activity at some other areas opposes it. All these results are discussed from the utilitarian point of view that proposes adequacy of human action being dependent upon how much pleasure and fear pain they are associated. Another finding of the present paper is that whenever final temporal details of the decision making process is desired, EEG becomes the tool of choice.

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