Neurocomputational mechanisms of prosocial behaviour in health, development and disorder

Year of award: 2021


  • Dr Patricia Lockwood

    University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Project summary

Many of our decisions have consequences for other people. Our choices can decelerate climate change, stop the spread of infectious disease and directly help or harm others. Decisions that help others (known as prosocial behaviours) change across development and in mental health disorders such as adolescent conduct disorders, with a UK cost of £60 billion every year. However, very little is known about how people make decisions for others and how they can be changed. I aim to understand how people make prosocial decisions, how they are processed in the brain, and how they change in adolescence and conduct disorder. To do this I will take a multidisciplinary approach combining cutting-edge theories and tools from psychology, neuroscience and computer science. These studies will help to explain how we make (or fail to make) good decisions for other people, and ultimately, provide a way to intervene and enhance healthy behaviour.