Where Do “Sacred” Values Live in the Brain?
For the research subjects’ sacred values, the ones they wouldn’t give up on for any amount of money (they could ‘auction off their value’ for up to $100), what lit up in the brain were areas known to be involved in right-wrong decisions, not in cost-benefit/utilitarian parts of the brain. That is, we naturally go to right-wrong thinking in making sacred value decisions. Greg Berns et al. found this held true for sacred values dictated by law as well as those that are not, like belief in God.