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

  • Breivik's Brain
    Breivik's Brain

    What could explain Anders Breivik's shooting attack in Oslo, Norway? While this is debated from the angles of politics, religion, and sociology, I want to ask this from the viewpoint of neurobiology.

  • Discovering amulets inside the mummy
    Discovering amulets inside the mummy

    I recently posted about my scanning of a 3,000 year old mummy, Neskhons. Now, by analyzing the data in several different ranges of electron density, I've found something unexpected: inside the mummy's torso are 4 small funerary amulets.

  • The Mystery of Expertise
    The Mystery of Expertise

    To the extent that consciousness is useful, it is useful in small quantities, and for very particular kinds of tasks. It's easy to understand why you would not want to be consciously aware of the intricacies of your muscle movement, but this can be less intuitive when applied to your perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, which are also final products of…

  • A note about head shape in mummies
    A note about head shape in mummies

    A few months ago I scanned a 3,000 mummy. What can (and can't) be concluded based on his perspicuously elongated skull shape, known as dolicocephy (elongated head)?  

Newsflashes

Barnes and Noble Best Book

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

Synesthesia book wins the Montaigne Medal

Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia has been awarded the Montaigne Medal, Eric Hoffer Award for Books.
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SUM is Book of the Year: Chicago Tribune

SUM was chosen as the best book of 2009 by Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer-winning literary critic Julia Keller.

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