The University of Arizona

Events & News

Cog Sci Brown Bag Seminar

DateFriday, October 23, 2009
Time12:00 pm
LocationGS 906
SpeakerPaul Zak, Professor
TitleDirector of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies
AffiliationClaremont Graduate University & Loma Linda University Medical Center

The Neurobiology of Trust

Abstract: Appropriate social behaviors require an ability to gauge the trustworthiness of others. Indeed, distrust and paranoia appear in a variety of neurologic and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, but the etiology of distrust is not well understood. This presentation will review seven recent studies from Dr. Zak’s lab that have begun to identify the neural substrates of trust and distrust in humans. An extensive animal literature identified the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) as causally related to prosocial behavior with conspecifics, and the studies reviewed here have confirmed this in humans. OT appears to be vitally important for appropriate social behaviors and may provide a new target for treatments.