Looking under the bonnet of conservation conflicts: can neuroscience help?
Can ÖE., Macdonald DW.
© 2018, The Author(s). Neuroscience—a branch of biology seemingly distant from nature/wildlife conservation is revolutionised by the ability to visualise the brain activity of humans. Using positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalograhy (MEG), neuroscience is revealing how humans are wired in ways that have bearing on any problem that involves values; and nature/wildlife conservation is surely one of those. Understanding how the human brain represents and processes morality and sacred values, and responds to conflicts could shed a powerful light on nature/wildlife conservation tactics. Conservation polices typically involve utilitarian considerations. However, research shows that conservation policies based solely on utilitarian considerations are likely to fail as the neurological process of rights and wrongs grates against the process of cost and benefits.