Brain Research on How to Slow Climate Change – Working With That?

Peer-reviewed publications


brain stimulation

When it comes to climate-friendly behavior, there is often a gap between what we want and what we actually do. While most people would like to see climate change slow down, many are not behaving in an appropriate sustainable manner. Researchers at the University of Bern have now used brain stimulation to demonstrate that the thinking ability of future victims of climate change encourages sustainable behaviour.

Global climate change is possibly the biggest challenge facing humanity today. However, despite decades of political warnings and resolutions, sustainability is still far from achieved. “However, the fact that people are not acting in a more climate-friendly way is not because we know so little about this critical situation.” Daria Knoch, Professor of Social Neuroscience at the University of Bern, explains. To learn more about the reasons that stop us from acting sustainably, Daria Knoch and her team conducted a neuroscience study. The research results have just been published in a well-known international journal Cortical.

While some of the effects of global warming are already visible today, those more strongly affected will be those we don’t know about in the future. “It’s our inability to think twice about these strangers that prevents climate-friendly action,” says Daria Knoch of the findings of the new study she conducted. with his research group in the “Social Neuroscience Laboratory” at the University of Bern. During the study, the participants received stimulation to a part of their brain that is important for seeing the other person’s point of view. This stimulation leads to more sustained behavior.

Stimulates the part of the brain responsible for opinion formation

During the test, participants in groups of four withdrew real money from a common pool. Each participant decides for himself: the more money they withdraw from the pool, the more money they end up having in their pocket. However, if the group of four withdraws too much money overall, this has consequences for the next group: the payouts they receive are much lower. Thus, the test simulates a real-life situation, where excessive use of a resource will cause negative consequences for others in the future.

While deciding on the withdrawal amount, some participants received brain stimulation (experimental group): a mild, non-invasive, harmless electrical current, delivered into the skull to increase the function of the stimulated brain area. . Researchers in Bern have stimulated a field that plays a powerful role in seeing other people’s point of view and have found that it has a significant impact: individuals are stimulated to make sustainable decisions. than non-stimulated participants (control group), by deciding not to withdraw excessive amounts from the pool.

The benefits of climate communication

“The application of brain stimulation to the general public is unquestionable,” explains Benedikt Langenbach, lead author of the study and a former PhD student at the Laboratory of Social Neuroscience. However, according to the researchers, the active brain region in question can also be enhanced, for example, through neurofeedback and meditation. According to Benedikt Langenbach, now at the University of Duisburg-Essen, additional strategies are also available to improve opinion formation: “We know that people are more likely to empathize with someone – such as victims of climate change – if they can be identified with them. ”

Daria Knoch adds: “Our neuroscientific findings could therefore make communication about the climate crisis more effective, for example by giving affected people a name and a stereotype. face instead of talking about an anonymous ‘future generation’.”




10.1016 / j.cortex.2021.11.006


Experimental study




Going with the Future: The right TPJ’s electrical stimulation increases sustainable decision-making

From EurkekAlert!

Source link


News7g: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button