The Relationship between Brain Regions Associated with Self and Moral Functioning in Moral Judgment

Hyemin Han, Jingyuan Chen, Changwoo Jeong, Gary H. Glover
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Moral psychologists argue that moral self associated with selfrelated psychological processes significantly influences moral functioning including moral affection, cognition, and motivation [1,2]. However, there have not been any previous neuroimaging studies that investigated the modulatory role of selfrelated processes in moral functioning. In the present study, by conducting psychophysiological interaction (PPI) and Granger causality analyses of neuroimaging data acquired while subjects were solving moral dilemmas, we examined how default mode network (DMN) regions, which are associated with selfhoodrelated processes in part, such as selfreflection, selfreferencing, selfrelated emotional and episodic memory processing, the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) in particular [3], interact with and affect activity in other brain regions related to moral functioning.