Elisa Baek, University of Pennsylvania

“Neuroscience of Information Sharing and Population-Level Virality”
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 4:30pm
Peretsman Scully Room 101
Hosted by: 
Kara Enz (kenz@) or Emily Liquin (eliquin@)
Neuroscience & Social Decision Making
Information sharing is one ubiquitous human behavior that supports social connections and has the potential to affect the attitudes and behaviors of large groups. What are the neural and psychological drivers of sharing, and can we predict sharing behavior at both the individual and population levels? In this talk, I show evidence from a series of studies highlighting that the brain’s value system integrates self and social considerations to form a domain-generalvalue signal that represents the value of sharing a piece of information. Activity in all three systems was positively associated with individual preferences to share information, as well as population-level virality. Further, activity in these brain systems previously associated with value, self, and social processing may also be important in supporting the transmission of information between sharers and receivers of information. I conclude by sharing findings from a recent study focusing on mentalizing as one key input to the valuation signal leading to sharing, which suggest that mentalizing causally increases the likelihood for sharing.