Brain imaging studies reveal biological basis for human cooperation

“Functional MRI scans have revealed a “biologically embedded” basis for altruistic behavior, with several characteristic regions of the brain being activated when players of a game called “Prisoner’s Dilemma” decide to trust each other and cooperate, rather than betray each other for immediate gain, say researchers from Emory University…For many years, evolutionary biologists, behaviorists, economists and political scientists have attempted to understand why cooperation exists between human beings, even though that cooperation may not result in a direct or immediate reward. This unselfish behavior called “altruism” is almost uniquely a human trait.”

Eurekalert release

See also: Why We’re So Nice: We’re Wired to Cooperate [ NY Times ]

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