A Review Essay on «Social Neuroscience»: Can Research on the Social Brain and Economics Inform Each Other?
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Social neuroscience studies the «social brain», conceived as the set of brain structures and functions supporting the perception and evaluation of the social environment. This article provides an overview of the field, using the book Social Neuroscience: Brain, Mind, and Society (Russell K. Schutt, Larry J. Seidman, and Matcheri S. Keshavan, editors) as a starting point. Topics include the evolution of the social brain, the concept of «theory of mind», the relevant brain networks, and documented failures of the social brain. I argue that social neuroscience and economics can greatly benefit from each other because the social brain underlies interpersonal decision making, as studied in economics.