Cell Biology and Neuroscience Seminar by Nathan Insel
- Friday, February 8, 2019 at 3:10pm
- Plant Biosciences Building, 108 - view map
Nathan Insel, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at the University of Montana, will present "Watching and Wondering: Establishing Degus as a Model for Social Neuroscience."
The Insel lab investigates how the brain forms expectations about others. Social expectations include everything from moment-to-moment predictions about others' actions to more general notions about personality and threat. This includes the initial perception that something might have intentional behavior, inferences about someone's emotional state, and whether or not other individuals should be trusted. Their research focuses on the degu, a small rodent from Chile with a rich repertoire of vocal and physical interactions. By applying techniques to monitor, manipulate, and simulate the nervous system, they can develop and test theories of how social expectations arise from neural interactions. Their goal is to gain better insight into how the brain supports social behavior in a way that is not only adaptive for the individual, but, ideally, constructive for groups of individuals. This could offer directions to help those with social handicaps, and may point to strategies for improving lives in an increasingly crowded world.
All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
- Cori Huttinga