Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 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.

Original publication




Journal article


Biodiversity and Conservation

Publication Date





2087 - 2091