By Hannah Devlin
Originally posted July 2, 2015
Common drugs for depression and Parkinson’s can sway people’s moral judgments about harming others, according to research that raises ethical questions about the use of the drugs.
The study found that when healthy people were given a one-off dose of a serotonin-boosting drug widely used to treat depression they became more protective of others, paying almost twice as much to prevent them receiving an electric shock in a laboratory experiment. They also became more reluctant to expose themselves to pain.
The scientists also found that the dopamine-enhancing Parkinson’s drug, levodopa, made healthy people more selfish, wiping out the normal tendency to prefer to receive an electric shock themselves, while sparing those around them.
The entire article is here.