RebeccaSaxe

Rebecca Saxe, a researcher in cognitive neuroscience, works on better understanding the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) that allows us to perceive what others think. This area mostly develops throughout childhood and adolescence, but it still continues during adulthood(*)

The differences in this area's development in adulthood explain the differences in the capacity to put oneself into someone's shoes. Depending on the level of this area's development, we will have more or less ease to perceive what another person thinks and feels, more or less capacity for moral discernment. The development of this area is crucial in the sense that it influences how we interact with others and the life choices we make. According to its level of development, we will make more or less individualistic or empathic choices.

 

The more there is activity in this brain region, the more people are able to take in consideration the circumstances of a situation in their moral judgments.

 

* Until around a decade ago, many scientists pretty much assumed that the human brain stopped developing in early childhood. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a neuroscientist with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, said that recent research has found that many regions of the brain continue to develop for a long time afterwards, until the 30s and 40s. An age at which our brain would be fully developed, mature.

 

Video on Ted  


Related articles