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Neuroscience and Society

As taught in: Fall 2008

Drawing of human brain, labeling functions of different regions.

Map of brain functions, by S. Polyak, 1957. (Courtesy of University of Chicago Press. Used with permission.)


Prof. Natasha Schüll

MIT Course Number:




Course Features

Course Description

This class explores the social relevance of neuroscience, considering how emerging areas of brain research reflect and reshape social attitudes and agendas. Topics include brain imaging and popular media; neuroscience of empathy, trust, and moral reasoning; new fields of neuroeconomics and neuromarketing; ethical implications of neurotechnologies such as cognitive enhancement pharmaceuticals; neuroscience in the courtroom; and neuroscientific recasting of social problems such as addiction and violence. Guest lectures by neuroscientists, class discussion, and weekly readings in neuroscience, popular media, and science studies.