Donnerstag, 04. Mai 2017, 17:00 - 18:45 iCal

Talk of Dr. Patricia Lockwood/University of Oxford

Theme: Neurocomputational mechanisms of selfishness and prosociality



Fakultät für Psychologie, Hörsaal G
Liebigasse 5, 1010 Wien


The question of whether humans are fundamentally selfish or prosocial has intrigued many disciplines from philosophy to economics for centuries. From small acts of kindness to major sacrifices, just how willing are humans to help others? Here I will describe a set of experiments that examine how we process information about ourselves and other people, drawing on theoretical frameworks from effort-based decision making and associative learning. I will describe how social decisions are reflected in the brain, particularly in portions of the medial prefrontal cortex, and the individual differences that may drive variability between people. I will show that in general, people care more about their own outcomes and possessions than others, but that there are substantial individual differences that are linked to specific brain areas. These findings could have important implications for understanding everyday social decision-making and its disruption in disorders of social behaviour such as autism and psychopathy.


Prof. Dr. Claus Lamm und Michael Forster


Abla Marie-José Bedi
Institut für Psycholgogische Grundlagenforschung und Forschungsmethoden