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Science Today is a daily radio feature produced by the University of California for the CBS Radio Network. From breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and the environment to insights into the world around us, Science Today covers it all.

Posts tagged with ‘brain’

Being honest, even when it may be advantageous to lie, takes more self-control. Those were the findings of a new study led by Ming Hsu of UC Berkeley. They linked damage to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, a region that controls impulses, to an inability to control self-interests.

Hsu says the study involved a money-splitting game between participants with damage to their prefrontal region and those with healthy brains.

So, you tell them either option A is better than option B for you or option B is better than option A for you. So essentially this will be like saying, car A is really good for you, even though when I know car B is really the better one for you. What we found is that people who don’t have damage to this brain region are willing to sacrifice quite a bit of material interest in order to not have to be dishonest.

This research supports the hypothesis that humans are inherently self-interested.

People like economists and behavioral ecologists have long argued that self-interest is the basic impulses of human behavior.

Why do some memories stick out more than others? And we’re not just talking about the dramatic wedding day-type of reminiscences - but rather, those ordinary moments that comprise an otherwise forgettable day. Totally burned in our memory. Was it something we ate that day? A particular sensory effect?

During an interview with UCSF neuroscientist Steve Finkbeiner at his office in the Gladstone Institutes, we asked him what his thoughts were on this matter.