Jorge Molls’ study on Neurology and Group Identity

A study was done recently at the D’Or Institute for Research and Development in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. In the study, 27 fans of the four largest, local Brazilian teams were brought to the institute and asked to answer a simple question: How would you donate your money? As part of the study, subjects asked to pick one of three choices:

Donate the money to anonymous fans of their favorite team

Donate the money to an anonymous person who identified with a team not their favorite

Do not donate the money, and instead keep it for yourself.

The goal of the study was to measure the altruism of people towards a group they considered themselves a part of, versus altruism towards a group they considered foreign to them. Group identity is one of the social aspects that define humanity, and while present in other animal societies, such as in a pack of wolves or a pride of lions, part of being human is having an incredibly refined sense of group identity, crafted by numerous factors. When given this option, the subjects were put into a device known as a functional Magnetic Resonance (fMR) scanner, and their brains were observed for any activity when they made their choice. While people have known that humanity has a very sophisticated sense of group identity, never before has it been able to be seen physically occur in the brain. The head of the research project, Jorge Molls, states “Attachment to cultural groups is a unique property of humans, fundamental for our survival, which, in turn, makes the investigation of its neural basis very critical.”

Molls is not only the head of this particular research project, but is also head of the entire D’Or Institute for Research and Development. Over his career, Molls has accumulate an impressive resume. He is an elected member of both the International Neuroethics Society and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He is also the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit and Neuroinformatics at the D’Or Institute for Research and Education. Also, Molls is a recipient of the D’Or Institute for Research & Education Awards and Research Fellow NIH award 3 times, from 2004 to 2007.

Justice Marco Antonio Marques da Silva Vignette

Justice Marco Antonio Marques da Silva received an honor on 1st April courtesy of PUC-Sao Paulo. Being a Criminal Law professor at Perdizes Campus, a recently build auditorium was named after him to demonstrate the act of honor. The university president, Dirceu de Mello, presided over the cutting edge opening ceremony. He captioned Marco Antonio’s acts of justice as someone who is always available to assist whenever possible. He praised him for spearheading the construction and completion of the modern auditoriums terming the honor as quite appropriate in the process.


Judge Marco Antonio Marques da Silva was born in 1958, at Itapetininga City. At a younger age of around 15 years, Marco Antonio already knew what his passion was in life. Contrary to the popular belief that the younger generation especially in its teens is a confused sheep, not knowing where to actually settle, Marco Antonio proved different in this regard. He made a lifetime decision early enough to design a promising path towards a law career.


In 1977, he started his law degree at PUC and completed in 1981 leading to his historic graduation. It is in Pontifical Catholic University where Judge Marco Antonio Marques da Silva advanced to masters and doctorate as well as brainstorming a little bit on teaching degrees. He attended a postdoctoral fellowship at Coimbra Faculty of Law in the year 2005. Marco Antonia became a professor based at PUC in 1982. Fast forward into the year 2003, he earned his tenure and still lectures until the recent time.


It was in 1983 when Justice Marcos Antonio Marques da Silva was selected to the State Judiciary. He specialized his skills in Palmeira D’Oeste, Diadema, Monte Alto as well as Sao Paulo counties. He got promotion to the position of a substitute judge in 2002 and successfully rose above the ranks to the coveted status of being in the judge bench at the court of appeal. He has a penchant desire for literary works and is the architect of 13 books and 40 articles. Included in his literary works is the “Luso-Brazilian Treaty on Human Dignity” where a joint editing between him and Jorge Miranda, the European Law Professor who has a specific focus in the constitutional laws was witnessed.