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Good morning,

The next Krasnow seminar will take place on Monday, December 3, 2012.  Please see information below for time, location and topic.

Thanks,
Tiffany

Begin forwarded message:


Date: November 28, 2012 3:06:14 PM EST

Subject: Krasnow Monday seminar 12/3/12
Reply-To: KRASNOW-L <[log in to unmask]>

Please join us for the final Krasnow Monday Seminar of the semester on 12/3/12.
Refreshments will be served at 3:30pm.  Come chat with colleagues and like-minded researchers and students prior to the talk at 4pm.
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TITLE:
Third-Party Punishment of Social Norm Violations: An fMRI investigation

SPEAKER: 
Frank Krueger
Molecular Neuroscience/Psychology
Krasnow Institute
George Mason University

DATE:  Monday, December 3, 2012
TIME:  4:00 p.m.
LOCATION:  Lecture Room (Room 229)
           Krasnow Institute Building
           George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

ABSTRACT:
Third-party punishment as a means of enforcing cooperation in response to social norm violations is probably a unique human evolved behavior, which was selected since it enabled large-scale and long-term cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals by deferring cheating and free-riding. In particular, large-scale human societies expect that criminal behavior will be punished, usually by impartial third-party decision-makers (i.e. state-empowered enforcers such as jurors and judges), who will assess moral responsibility and determine the appropriate legal punishment. Exploring how the human brain governs our response to norm violations in criminal contexts can lead to advanced knowledge for lawmakers in understanding juror’s decision making in trials and to more effective criminal sentencing. However, remarkably little is known about the psychological and neural components of legal third-party punishment. By combining functional MRI with a third-party punishment task, healthy participants (lay jurors) were asked to estimate how much punishment a hypothetical offender deserved for a set of prototypical offenses ranging across harm from property destruction and theft to rape and murder. The results revealed a neural third-party punishment network relying upon specific psychological components each modulated by a distinct cortical midline structure drawing on elementary and domain-general computations: norm violation of the offense (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, dmPFC), harm to the victim (posterior cingulate), and benefit for the offender (ventromedial prefrontal cortex, vmPFC). Applying multivariate Granger causality mapping, a reciprocally connected dmPFC-vmPFC circuit was identified as the driver of the third-party punishment network, serving as a convergence zone linking information across regions to determine the appropriate degree of punishment for illegal behavior. The identified components of third-party punishment confirm the criminal law’s central underpinnings of punishment: it depends first on the detection of a norm violation and then on an assessment of the costs and benefits of the violation (i.e. the harm to the victim and the benefits to the offender). The  novel findings help to address future questions about law and policy that have been difficult to resolve based on traditional models of academic and folk psychology.
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For additional directions or information call 703-993-4333 or browse to http://krasnow.gmu.edu/location/ .
The full semester seminar schedule is at
http://krasnow.gmu.edu/blog/category/monday-seminars/upcomingmondayseminars/ .