Jorge Moll Seeks to Understand Group Social Behaviors

Dr. Jorge Moll is currently the President of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), which is located in Rio de Janeiro. He also is a member of the governing board and a senior researcher. Dr. Jorge Moll has an extensive background in Neuroscience. In 1994 he obtained his medical degree from the Federal University located in Rio de Janeiro. He subsequently completed his residency at Federal University as well. In 2004, Dr. Moll obtained another doctoral degree, this time in Experimental Pathophysiology. Stanford University awarded Dr. Jorge Moll the Visiting Scholar Award in 2015. In 2008, he was elected as an affiliate member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2012, Dr. Moll was elected to the board of the International Neuroethics Society. The National Institute of Health awarded him the Research Fellow Accolade for his work from 2004 to 2007.


Recently, the IDOR published a study looking at what makes people so passionate about their sports teams. The study was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal and looks at the need humans have for belonging to a group. The study looks at fans of soccer and examined MRI’s to understand their social behavior and ingroup attachment. Dr. Jorge Moll was interested in this research because he knows that humans attachments to being a part of cultural groups are a necessity to the survival of the human race.


This research utilized 27 soccer fans of various Brazilian soccer teams. During MRI brain scans, the research subjects had to answer the question of who they would donate money to, given the choice of other fans of their own favorite soccer team, non-fans of their favorite soccer team, or to keep the money for themselves. As can be expected, many of the subjects chose to gift themselves money. Nonetheless, out of the other two choices, they would give more money to fans of their favorite soccer team.


The understanding of the neural mechanisms relating to group behavior and belonging to a group could be very important to addressing various clinical problems. These problems include antisocial behaviors.