If you’re not familiar with the term “team-related altruism,” it is a term typically associated with the die-hard sports fan. This particular subcategory of fans will exhibit a type of behavior that many would describe as tribal. These are fans that live and breathe their favorite teams, purchasing merchandise, attending games and, in some cases, foregoing events in their own lives to support their respective teams. Thankfully, research, specifically in neurology, is making it possible to understand the pathology that differentiates the casual fan from the die-hard fan.
In a cbsnews.com article, writer and avid sports fan David Ropeik described the die-hard fan as a tribal animal with an allegiance to their team, generally extreme by nature. But is there also a psychological component? Well, the answer is yes, according to Jorge Moll. If you’re not already familiar with Jorge Moll, he is a Research Group Leader, as well as founder, of D’Or Institute for Research and Education, a nonprofit that has made it their mission to promote scientific research and technological progress in healthcare. In addition, Jorge Moll serves as the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience division, as well as the Neuroinformatics group, for the nonprofit.
Needless to say, Jorge Moll is well-versed in the field of neurology and likely as opinions relative to “team-related altruism.” After all, neural science is what is used to help explain human behavior. This is a science that Jorge Moll is very familiar with, having studied neurology for years. Moll attended the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he earned his medical degree, in 1994, before going on to complete his medical residency at the same university, in 1998. After earning his medical degree and completing his residency, Moll enrolled at São Paulo University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathophysiology, in 2004.
Jorge Moll’s education and overall interest in neuroscience led to him establishing D’Or Institute of Research and Education, an organization that works to understand the impetus behind human behavior (http://www.jorgemoll.com.br/). In addition, he has received countless awards including the Visiting Scholar Award, presented by Stanford University’s Neuroscience Institute, in 2015.