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Humans evolved with both self-interest and prosociality. What biological and psychological systems guide moral cognition and social decision-making? How do these capacities develop in children and manifest in adults, and how are they influenced by resource scarcity and group dynamics? Why do psychopaths show a lack of concern for others? What makes ordinary people hold strong moral convictions that can lead to extreme political attitudes and support for violence?

The University of Chicago Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, headed by Dr. Jean Decety, investigates the neural mechanisms of these real-world phenomena using functional and structural MRI, high-density EEG/ERP, and behavioral economics.

We have a separate child-friendly space, the Child Neurosuite, to study the development of moral reasoning and prosocial behavior.


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Behavioral economics | Development | Empathy | Justice motivation | Morality | Neuropolitics | Prosociality | Psychopathy | Social decision-making