This collection of essays by a group of distinguished social neuroscientists provides the reader with an engaging overview of this emerging multidisciplinary and collaborative field. In the twentieth century, the arbitrary barrier between neuroscience and social psychology was reinforced by the specialized knowledge required by each field and an emphasis on scientific work in isolation from other disciplines; the biological and social perspectives on mind and behavior developed for the most part independently of each other. Neuroscientists often considered social factors irrelevant or minimally important, while cognitive and social scientists tended to ignore biological constraints and mechanisms as leading to what they mistakenly thought of as reductionism. By the end of the twentieth century, however, as those working in both fields were spurred by the common goal of understanding how the mind works, systematic collaborations between neuroscientists and cognitive scientists had begun. These collaborative efforts have already helped unravel aspects of perception, imagery, attention, and memory.
These essays—by leaders in the field—reflect the range of disciplines engaged and questions addressed today in social neuroscience. Topics include maternal effects and chromatin modeling; "Oxytocin and the prairie vole: a love story"; pheromones, social odors, and the unconscious; and memory.
About the Editors
John T. Cacioppo is Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Psychology, Director of the Social Psychology Program, and Co-Director of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago.
Gary G. Berntson is Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics at Ohio State University.
"These nuggets are as stimulating as they are informative. They are more than simply the foundations of a new field—they provide a springboard for all those interested in becoming part of this exciting enterprise."
—Stephen M. Kosslyn, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University
"A collection of very readable gems by some of the leading experts in this emerging, multifaceted discipline. A great introduction for students and investigators at all levels."
—Richard D. Lane, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Arizona