Social cognition has also to do with moral cognition. Indeed, faced with a given social or emotional context, how do we judge what is the 'morally' appropriated behaviour, how do we judge if someone else's behaviour is 'morally' acceptable ? These questions ultimately relate to the classical philosophical quest about what is right and what is wrong. We have started a research programm aiming at studying these processes, both at the behavioural and cerebral levels (PDF). Our main tool of study is the use of moral dilemmas such as the following :
"You are the captain of a damaged submarine. There is not enough oxygen left and the crew will not survive until the rescue team arrives. One of the crew member is very badly injured. If you let him die, it will save oxygen and the rest of the crew will survive.
Would you let one member of the crew die to save the life of the crew?" YES or NO
If the behaviour of others is of limited or no interest to people with autism spectrum disorder, are they able to use it to learn novel abstract rules ?
Laboratorio de Neurociencia Integrativa