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.

1. Introducing social neuroscience

 2. Syndrome E – violence and group contagion

3. What makes us empathetic?

4. Peer pressure and obedience to authority

 5. Re-humanisation and how we can curb violence

6. Q&A: David Eagleman on the science of de- (and re-) humanisation

"David Eagleman offers startling lessons.... His method in both Sum and his new book, Incognito, is to ask us to cast off our lazy, commonplace assumptions."
- The Guardian
"[A] neuroscientist and polymath."
- Wall Street Journal
"Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness."
- The New Yorker
"What Eagleman seems to be calling for is a new Enlightenment."
- Sunday Herald
"David Eagleman may be the best combination of scientist and fiction-writer alive."
- Stewart Brand
"A popularizer of impressive gusto...[Eagleman] aims, grandly, to do for the study of the mind what Copernicus did for the study of the stars."
- New York Observer
"David Eagleman is the kind of guy who really does make being a neuroscientist look like fun."
- New York Times