How does our neurochemistry enable us to adapt our decisions in a dynamically changing social world?
We at the NBU address how complex social behaviors such as trust, competitiveness, or our tendency to conform to others actions are being represented in the brain and body. We would like to explore whether such behaviors can be tracked down to the level of specific neurotransmitter and hormone receptor functions, and how these relate to brain activity in turn. We do this within a decision science framework wherein we combine experimental economic and computational approaches to address social cognition. We employ neuroscientific methods such as genetics, psychopharmacological challenges of hormone and neurotransmitter systems, and brain imaging. In doing so we hope to shed light on the basic (e.g. molecular) brain mechanisms underlying human social interaction.