The science of de- and re-humanization

Why do groups of people inflict violence on unarmed neighbors (think Germany, Rwanda, Darfur, Nanking....)? How do ingroups and outgroups form, neurally-speaking?  How does social context and obedience to authority navigate mass behavior?  

Here's my take on these questions, through the lens of neuroscience.

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From the Blog

  • Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization
    Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization

    Watch a talk I gave at the Long Now Foundation about my hopes that the advent of the internet will mitigate threats that brought down previous civilizations.

  • New Scientist time story
    New Scientist time story

    New Scientist magazine recently featured my time perception research as their cover story. 

  • James Holmes’ Brain: Some Initial Speculations
    James Holmes’ Brain: Some Initial Speculations

    In the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting, many people had the same questions: What kind of derangement is indicated by the horrific acts of James Holmes? What is wrong with his brain? How will his mental state play out in the courts?

  • Brain Time
    Brain Time

    The days of thinking of time as a river—evenly flowing, always advancing—are over. Time perception, just like vision, is a construction of the brain.

Newsflashes

Emily Blunt reads for the Sum audio book

Hear the actress Emily Blunt (Young Victoria, Devil Wears Prada) read "The Cast" from Sum. She is one of the dozens of terrific actors who read for the audio book.

Barnes and Noble Best Book

Barnes and Noble selected SUM as one of the Best Books of the Year.

Neurolaw: The Brain on Trial

Want to know how neuroscience will force major changes in our criminal justice system? Read David's article The Brain on Trial in The Atlantic. Now anthologized in 2012 Best American Science and Nature Writing.
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