An Advanced Neuroscience Study, by Jorge Moll, Explores the Relationship Between Well-Being and Affective Relationships

The specialist explained that we have a pre-programmed biological system that gives us more physiological pleasure when we donate to others rather than we receive something.

In our present society, depression is a disease that has become more recurrent. On the other hand, an increasing number of scientific studies confirm the connection between well-being and relationships. Findings show that the secret to a better life might lie in effective relationships. Since 2006, the neuroscientist and president of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education, Jorge Moll, has been investigating this theme and more specifically how the human brain reacts to feelings of tenderness, emotional attachment, and values, such as ethics and altruism (DiasDaCruz). He is also researching the relationship between good deeds and the sense of well-being.

Jorge Moll’s studies focused, for example, on volunteers who recounted their experiences and subsequently answered a variety of questions, while their brain activity was being observed through magnetic resonance imaging. The result of the research showed that the act of donating activates the reward system, where the sensations of pleasure are generated.

“This means that we have a pre-programmed biological system that gives us more physiological pleasure by giving than by receiving something,” explained Jorge Moll.

As science continues onward, it will continue to explore the importance of effective relationships for happier and healthier lifestyles. According to Jorge Moll, this change in perspective can help the development of new practices oriented toward increasing individuals’ mental well-being.


The D’Or Institute for Research and Education is a non-profit organization that aims to promote scientific and technological advances in the healthcare sphere. The institution has been operating independently since 2010, but its origins date back to the beginning of the D’Or São Luiz Hospital Network, its main sponsor.

Since its creation, the institute developed several initiatives in the areas of medical education and clinical research. Its areas of expertise include Intensive Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurosciences, Paediatrics, and Oncology.

D’Or São Luiz Hospital Network is currently the largest private hospital network in Brazil. It is located in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, The Federal District, and Pernambuco.

Hospitals Copa D’Or, Barra D’Or and Quinta D’Or, all in Rio, were the first three of the network, which today owns 35 hospitals and manage other two, comprising 5,100 operational beds; 38,500 employees; and 87,000 accredited physicians. The network deals with about 3.35 million emergency care cases, 356 thousand hospitalizations, 220 thousand surgeries and 24,300 deliveries per year.

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