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Steve Chang

Steve Chang, PhD

Faculty Member

Center for Neurocognition and Behavior | Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence

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Neuroscience of social behavior

What brain mechanisms enable us to interact with others? Human brains evolved to deal with the increasing demands of social interactions. Social behaviors are reward-driven, whether their motivating factors are physical rewards, such as food and sex, or more abstract rewards, such as vicarious experience and interpersonal reputation. Investigating how the brain computes social preferences and mediates prosocial and antisocial decisions can offer an ecologically valid and efficient way to understand the brain. In particular, studying how the brain computes social information during dynamic and contingent interactions will likely reveal novel insights into the neural mechanisms underlying social behaviors. Elucidating these neural mechanisms will ultimately help treat social deficits in numerous psychiatric disorders. In addressing these issues, Chang's laboratory investigates how neurons in the prefrontal-amygdala circuits signal social decisions and mediate social gaze dynamics. We apply electrophysiological and neuropharmacological approaches during real-life social interactions as well as functional neuroimaging techniques.

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Biography

Steve Chang received his Bachelor's degree in 2003 from Washington University in St. Louis and his Doctoral degree in 2009 from Washington University in St. Louis in Neurosciences. He then completed his postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Duke University. He started his lab in 2014 at Yale University in the Department of Psychology. He is a member of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience and also the co-Director of Undergraduate Studies of Yale's Neuroscience Major. His partner Sarah worked in the past at Yale as the Director of Student Accessibility Services and they share a child, August. They also love their Old English Sheepdog, Coco.