Congratulations to the 2019 Early Career Award Winners

  • Patricia Lockwood, University of Oxford, UK (Human)

  • Weizhe Hong, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (Animal)

The Early Career Award special lectures take place on Friday, October 18, 2019, 4:25 – 4:55 pm, in the West Pavilion Auditorium of the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL.

The Society for Social Neuroscience has established this award to recognize Early Career Contributions to Social Neuroscience. The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions by scientist early in their careers.  Two awardees, one for human research and one for animal research, are named by the Awards Committee, and are honored at the S4SN 2019 Annual Meeting.


Neurocomputational Basis of Selfishness and Prosociality

Friday, October 18, 2019, 4:25 –4:40 pm, West Pavilion Auditorium

Patricia Lockwood, University of Oxford, UK

The question of whether humans are fundamentally selfish or prosocial has intrigued many disciplines from philosophy to economics for centuries. From small acts of kindness to major sacrifices, just how willing are humans to help others? Here I will discuss some of the neurocomputational mechanisms that underpin selfishness and prosociality. I will show that in general, people care more about their own outcomes than others, but that there are substantial individual differences. These findings could have important implications for understanding everyday social decision-making and its disruption in disorders of social behaviour such as psychopathy.


Understanding the Social Brain – Across Individuals and Between Sexes

Friday, October 18, 2019, 4:40 –4:55 pm, West Pavilion Auditorium

Weizhe Hong, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Social interactions involve some of the most complex decisions that animals must make to secure their survival, reproductive success, and overall well-being. As social interactions are shaped by dynamic, mutual feedback between participants, an open question is whether and how emergent properties may arise across brains of socially interacting individuals to influence social decisions. By simultaneously performing microendoscopic calcium imaging in pairs of socially interacting mice, we find that animals exhibit interbrain correlations of neural activity in the prefrontal cortex that are dependent on ongoing social interaction (Kingsbury et al Cell 2019). We study how interbrain synchrony arises from activity at the single-cell level, and how it may serve as an emergent property of multi-animal systems to help us understand how individuals engage in social interactions and develop social relationships. Another remarkable feature of social behavior is the extraordinary sex differences between females and males that are universally present across species. We study how neural circuits in males vs. females regulate parental behavior in a sex-specific manner (Chen et al Cell 2019). Together, we aim to provide new insight into the molecular and circuit basis of social behavior, both across individuals and between sexes, and to lay the groundwork for more incisive investigation of the social brain.

Previous Winners


Eliza Bliss-Moreau, University of California, Davis
Matthew Apps, University of Oxford


Jonathan B. Freeman, Ph.D., New York University
Oren Forkosh, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute


Jamil Zaki, Ph.D., Stanford University
Steve Chang, Ph.D., Yale University


Molly J Crockett, University of Oxford
Teruhiro Okuyama, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Gül Dölen, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Olga Klimecki, Ph.D., University of Geneva


Jay Van Bavel, Ph.D., New York University
Zoe Donaldson, Ph.D., Columbia University