The seat of human wisdom has been identified by researchers at University of California in San Diego.
Using sophisticated brain scanning techniques, scientists were able to pinpoint parts of the brain that guide people when they face difficult moral dilemmas.
Boffins have found that humans respond by activating areas associated with the primitive emotions of sex, fear and anger as well as their capability for abstract thought, reports The Telegraph.
The findings are to be published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Dilip Jeste, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of California in San Diego, said: “Our research suggests there may be a basis in neurobiology for wisdom’s most universal traits.”
The research team, including Jeste and Thomas Meeks, found that pondering a simple situation calling for altruism activated the medial prefrontal cortex, an area linked to intelligence and learning. However, when faced with a difficult moral judgment, the brain activated other areas including those connected with both rational thought and primitive emotions.
Meek said: “Several brain regions appear to be involved in different components of wisdom. It seems to involve a balance between more primitive brain regions, like the limbic system, and the newest ones, such as the prefrontal cortex.”