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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Events


Neuropolitics Presentation: Your Brain is Built for Politics

Neuropolitics Presentation: Your Brain is Built for Politics
Speaker: Darren Schrieber # University of Exeter; Hosted by: Laura Cram # University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
8th Dec 2014 13:00 - 8th Dec 2014 15:00
Staff room, 6th floor of Chrystal Macmillan Building

Darren Schreiber, University of Exeter, introduces his fascinating new book in a talk which will have wide-ranging appeal: for political psychologists; electoral and political behaviour scholars; cognitive neuroscientists; computational modellers; fMRI users and generally for anyone interested in the relationship between brain, biology and behaviour. 

Your Brain is Built for Politics

The book argues that Your Brain is Built for Politics, drawing from an extensive body of research in biology and politics. Negotiating increasingly complex and shifting coalitions drove the human brain to evolve a set of mechanisms that modern humans now engage when they participate in national politics.  The book synthesizes results from six brain imaging experiments, a large-n response latency study, and a computational model of the visual cortex to explore how these brain mechanisms underpin phenomena such as political sophistication, political attitudes, racial attitudes, and moral reasoning.  Predictions of party affiliation with 82% accuracy, election results with 65-75% accuracy, and both egalitarian attitudes and behaviors are achieved with surprisingly simple models accounting for brain function.  The product is a new view of human nature.  Biology is shown to be subservient to the demands of human politics.  Rather than a reductionist or deterministic argument, I contend the shifting coalitions of human society require that we are hardwired to not be hardwired.


All welcome


Chrystal Macmillan Building

Staff Room, 6th Floor

Monday 8 Dec 1pm

Edinburgh Students