Grants awarded

Neurobiological foundations of flexible social behaviour

Grantholder:

Dr Dan Bang

University College London

United Kingdom

Social situations often require us to ‘misrepresent’ what we think or feel to gain benefits or avoid harm. This ability to act in a context-sensitive manner is impaired in people with some neurological and psychiatric conditions, which can cause distress for individuals and their family and friends. Despite being essential for healthy social function, we know little about how the brain supports context-sensitive social behaviour.

I will give people social tasks which allow me to characterise how they learn which contexts are relevant for behaviour and which behaviours are appropriate in a given context. I will use these tasks in conjunction with novel brain imaging technologies which offer a window onto the neurochemistry and the neurocircuitry supporting context-sensitive social behaviour.

This work will significantly advance our understanding of the neurobiological foundations of flexible social behaviour and the routes to social dysfunction in mental health disorders.