Jorge Moll: Brazil’s Medical Brain


Philosophers have debated the nature of altruism for thousands of years. Countless psychology studies have been conducted to unravel the mystery of giving without receiving. Is it natural? Or are we just doing it to do it? Philosophy and psychology can tell us quite a bit about altruism using countless studies. But recently, neurology experiments might be able to, for the first time, give us the answer.

Jorge Moll’s team at the D’Or Institute of Research and Education or IDOR has revealed some serious developments in the research on altruism in recent years. In 2006, Moll’s team discovered that perhaps altruism is natural. At the very least, we are starting to learn that altruism was an important step for humans in the evolution of social behavior.

Moll’s team discovered that when a person commits an act of altruism, the brain is stimulated. Not just stimulated but stimulated in the area of the brain responsible for stimulation relating to food and sex. Altruism can make people feel the same mental reward as sex and food. People crave altruism in a sense.

These findings are important. Not only are they settling old debates they are starting to shed light on the importance of social cues in humans. They are also solidifying neurology’s place on the world stage. Neurology is not only slipping into debates of psychology and philosophy, it’s making strides.

Jorge Moll has been making impressive gains in medical research in neurology. IDOR — which is one of the largest institutes of medical research in Brazil — has made breakthroughs in all forms of neurological research. Jorge Moll’s institute is groundbreaking.

Moll himself is a noteworthy figure. A graduate of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Moll started working as a doctor of medicine in 1994 ( Holding a degree in experimental psychophysiology Moll has always been interested in how the mind works.

IDOR — Moll’s brainchild — is a result of his fascination with neurology and his ever-impressive work ethic. With a case of accolades behind him such as the Visiting Scholar award from Stanford and the Research Fellow accolade from the National Institutes of Health, Jorge Moll is putting Brazil on the map as an important center of medicine in the world.