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Founding father of social neuroscience to discuss loneliness


March 09, 2009
Social psychologist John T. Cacioppo will deliver a public lecture “Loneliness and the Need for Social Connection” at Arizona State University. The lecture will be held from 6-8 p.m. on March 31 in the Lyceum Theatre on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Cacioppo is a founding father of social neuroscience, which provides a conceptual springboard for investigating the social and neural mechanisms underlying complex human behavior. The term “social neuroscience” was first published in an article by Cacioppo and Gary Bernston, a professor at Ohio State University, in American Psychologist in 1992.

The lecture is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the ASU Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Social neuroscience represents an interdisciplinary approach devoted to understanding how biological systems and social processes and behavior affect aspects of human behavior,” says Keith Crnic, chair of the psychology department. “His research fits in well with the New American University model of transcending disciplinary boundaries. His talk on loneliness in relation to the current state of the United States is timely.”

Cacioppo will also deliver the inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Psychological Science presented by the department. The lecture will be held at noon on April 1 in the Psychology Building, Room 102, on ASU’s Tempe campus. The title of his talk is “Operating Characteristics of the Affect Systems.” It is open to faculty members, students and alumni of the department of psychology.

Cacioppo is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago as well as the director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. He received a doctorate and master’s degree in psychology from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association.

Cacioppo served as president of the Association for Psychological Science and was a member of the Department of Health and Human Services National Advisory Council on Aging.

He has written more than 400 publications and 17 books, including co-writing with William Patrick, the recent book, “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection.”

Entry to both lectures is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow the public lecture. Register for the public lecture at clas.asu.edu/cacioppo.

More information at 480-965-7598. Online maps of the Tempe campus and parking facilities are at: www.asu.edu/map.