Coordinator and Faculty, Michael Platt.
Faculty: Colin Camerer, Larry Young, Tanya Chartrand, Molly Crockett, Hans Hoffman, Matthew Rushworth.
Humans are fundamentally social. Our ability to work and live together allows us to achieve things we could not do alone. Not surprisingly, we are biologically specialized for social behavior, and our lives often depend on these capabilities. Deeper and more numerous social connections promote health, well-being, survival, and even financial success. By the same token, social exclusion and the loss of social partners result in feelings similar to physical pain. Impairments in the ability or motivation to connect with others profoundly impact the lives of individuals with disorders like autism and schizophrenia. Social factors also simultaneously complicate and enable our economic behavior. Yet despite its importance, the formalized neuroscientific study of social behavior is relatively new, perhaps due to the difficulty of studying complex social behavior in the laboratory using the techniques of modern neuroscience. This course will survey current understanding of the social behavior and decision making of humans and other animals, from psychological, economic, and ethological perspective; the neurobiology of friendship, social connection, and cooperation; the neurobiology of theory of mind and strategic behavior; disorders affecting social decision making and their biological basis; and applications of social neuroscience to business, including marketing, management and organizational design, leadership and team-building, negotiation, and trading.