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Jorge Moll: Explaining the Warmth of Giving02.24.18

Everyone has experienced it once in their lives – they are doing something good, and they suddenly had a warm feeling because of the act that they did. This is what people refer to as helper’s high, and it is a mystery that has been properly documented through the years. Because of this phenomenon, several philosophers have tried to explain it in detail, but they could not get through the central idea of why it happens. This phenomenon also resulted in the formation of several quotations that stays true until today, like the quote “to give is better than to receive.”



About Jorge Moll

This mystery has also baffled Jorge Moll, a Brazilian neuroscientist who is conducting several experiments surrounding the brain. To find out more about the phenomenon, he had to hire several adults and invited them to his laboratory. With the help of other neuroscientists, they explained the mechanics of the experiment. Jorge Moll asked the subjects to think about a scenario where they would be generous and selfish. They would also be subjected to attach themselves on several apparatus that would measure their brain activities and for Jorge Moll to have a better insight of what is happening inside the brain.

As the experiment begins, Jorge Moll was surprised in what he had seen – the brain of the subjects are active when they were thinking about being generous, and it completely stopped when they had selfish thoughts. The experiment was quickly recorded in their devices, and Jorge Moll studied other brain activity patterns that could help him understand the phenomenon much better. After carefully analyzing the data, he found out that there is a small area of the brain which opened when the subjects were thinking about generosity. This small area of the brain released hormones that would be comparable to eating delicious food or having pleasurable sex. According to Jorge Moll, this hormone is the one responsible for the warm feeling, and he is delighted that it has been discovered finally.

After the experiment, Jorge Moll and his neuroscientist colleagues created a short narrative report about what they have found out and forwarded it to the scientific community.

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