Part of the human brain contributing the most to the prediction of pain (left, orange areas) and olfactory disgust (right, small blue areas). ©UNIGE/Corradi-Dell'Aqua.

Bad attitudes lead to moral judgments rooted in our basic survival mechanisms. And scientists from UNIGE have demonstrated that they are linked to foul smells.

Unhealthy behaviours trigger moral judgments that are similar to the basic emotions that contribute to our ability to survive. Two different hypotheses are to be found in the current scientific literature as to the identity of these emotions. Some researchers single out disgust, while others opt for pain. After developing a new approach to brain imaging, a research team from the University of Geneva (CISA & BBL) has come down on the side of disgust. The study, which can be found in Science Advances, shows that unhealthy behaviours trigger brain responses that are similar to those prompted by bad smells. The research also identifies for the first time a biomarker in the brain for disgust. 

Read the press release at the following link