Episode 86

Jesse takes a deep dive with Dr. Molly Crockett into the world of moral decision-making.  A recent study shows how two common medications can sway moral judgments, and Dr. Crockett provides an up-close look into the experiments’ design and its conclusions.  Could we be inadvertently chemically altering our moral intuitions more than we realize?

Moving from flexible morality to locked-in-stone genetic pre-determinism: Eye Color.  Our eye color is written in our genes.  But research shows that eye color may be related to… alcohol dependence!  (Who knew?)  More on that in the Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick.

Episode Highlights

0:33Changing moral behavior and pharmacology.
1:37This Week In Neuroscience: Lost memories and an insight in to amnesia.
5:58Thank you for all the great reviews on iTunes.
8:40Smart Drug Smarts features in The Guardian.
9:27Jesse introduces Dr. Molly Crockett.
11:58A background on pharmacology and moral judgments.
13:52Results of the behavioral study - emergence of (hyper)altruism.
15:08Getting deeper into the design of the experiment.
17:00Level of interaction between the participants in the experiment.
18:38Pain value of shock vs the amount of money.
20:05Pain threshold for most participants.
21:21Results of the experiment using Citalopram and Levodopa.
27:26Unintended side-effects of pharmacological intervention.
30:43Dr. Crockett's future plans with moral enhancement.
33:01A final word of caution.
35:42Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: Eye color and alcohol dependence.

PS:  Pondering moral dilemmas is a tough call.  But getting the Smart Drug Smarts newsletter should be a no-brainer.  Sign up below and receive your weekly dose of neuroscience goodies.

Written by Anushtup Chatterjee
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