General Course Information
"Social psychology is the scientific attempt to explain how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of other human beings" (Allport, 1954, p. 5)
Far from being an oxymoron, social neuroscience is the study of the genetic, cellular, neural, and hormonal mechanisms underlying those things defined as social psychological. These various levels of analysis are not simply complimentary but give us new information not available through behavioral study alone that can serve to inform theories in social psychology (not to mention help us treat social deficits and disorders).
In this course we will examine how the nervous system has adapted to the complex computational demands of social systems in primates and other social species. We will focus on how the brain implements social behavior, and how social processes, in turn, affect biological systems. See the Schedule for covered topics.