Studies in the neurobiological underpinnings of social information processing by psychologists, neurobiologists, psychiatrists, radiologists, and neurologists, using methods that range from brain imaging techniques to comparative analyses.
Social neuroscience uses the methodologies and tools developed to measure mental and brain function to study social cognition, emotion, and behavior. In this collection John Cacioppo, Penny Visser, and Cynthia Pickett have brought together contributions from psychologists, neurobiologists, psychiatrists, radiologists, and neurologists that focus on the neurobiological underpinnings of social information processing, particularly the mechanisms underlying "people thinking about thinking people." In these studies such methods as functional brain imaging, studies of brain lesion patients, comparative analyses, and developmental data are brought to bear on social thinking and feeling systems-the ways in which human beings influence and are influenced by other humans.
The broad range of disciplines represented by the contributors confirms that among the strengths of social neuroscience are its interdisciplinary approach and the use of multiple methods that bridge disciplines and levels of analysis.
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. Penny S. Visser is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and editor of a special issue of Political Psychology on social neuroscience. Cynthia L. Pickett was Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and is now an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Davis.