"The neural signatures of social relations: liking, future liking, and reciprocity in human groups."
Humans are a fundamentally social species, and the social networks in which we are embedded significantly determine our physical and psychological well-being. Effectively navigating interactions within these networks requires efficient mechanisms for processing social information about network members. This ability is so important that it may be among the foremost computational challenges that influenced our evolution, particularly the dramatic development of our “social brains.” In this talk, Bearman will discuss the identification of neural signatures underlying liking, status, future liking, and reciprocity. We achieve new insights into the neural dynamics underlying individual identity and group formation by capturing fMRI activity of individuals in meaningful social groups in a longitudinal context.
About Peter Bearman
Peter Bearman is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theories and Empirics (INCITE), the Cole Professor of Social Science, and Co-Director of the Health & Society Scholars Program, the Mellon Interdisciplinary Training Progrsm, and OHMA at Columbia University. A specialist in network analysis, he co-designed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. He has also conducted research in historical sociology, including Relations into Rhetorics: Local Elite Social Structure in Norfolk, England, 1540-1640 (Rutgers, 1993). He is the author of Doormen (University of Chicago Press, 2005). He is an editor of the Handbook of Analytical Sociology (Oxford University Press, 2009) and edits (with Peter Hedstrom) a series on analytical sociology at the Princeton University Press (PASS).
A recipient of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award in 2007, Bearman is currently investigating the social determinants of the autism epidemic. In addition, he is working on the dynamics of lynching in the deep south, violence in Northern Ireland, the analysis of event and relational sequences, and qualitative research design. He is a member of the American Acadamy of Arts and Science (AAAS and the National Academy of Science (NAS).
He teaches introductory sociology, qualitative research design, research design, social networks, and classical social theory.