One of the unique products of the thinking brain is the evaluation of events and self with a good or bad gloss. This universal human preoccupation with good and bad is not manifested in animals. The key neural component of this type of judgment is the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, an area tucked into the crease between the two cerebral hemispheres. I described this organ in chapter 6. It plays a critical role in evaluating the outcomes of one’s behaviors and makes subjective judgments about whether outcomes are good or bad.
Although the list of features humans select as good is constrained by the hominid genome, each person’s actual selections are not written in their genome. Culture makes a significant contribution to the concepts good and bad, notwithstanding intelligence, wealth, power or special talent.