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Dr. Jean Decety is Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and its College.  He is the director of the Brain Research Imaging Center at the University of Chicago Medicine, and the director of the Child Neurosuite.  

He is a leading scholar on the social neuroscience of empathy, morality and prosocial behavior, as well as other topics related to the neurobiology of social cognition.  His work has led to new understandings of empathy, affective processes and moral decision-making in typically developing children as well as criminal psychopaths.  His research uses neuroimaging techniques (functional MRI and high-density EEG) and genetic to examine how biological and social factors interact in contributing to empathy and the motivation to care for the well-being of others.

Dr. Decety is the founder of the Society for Social Neuroscience. He recently edited the Social Neuroscience of Empathy (2009), The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience (2011) Empathy from Bench to Bedside (2012), New Frontiers in Social Neuroscience (2014), and The Moral Brain – A Multidisciplinary Perspective (2015) at MIT press.

Decety has been on the University of Chicago faculty since 2006. Prior to that, he was a professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, and research director at the National Medical Research Institute in Lyon, France. He received his PhD in Neurobiology from the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, France in 1989.


Emotion - Empathy - Developmental Neuroscience - Moral Decision-making - Psychopathy


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