Steve W. C. Chang, PhD
Research & Publications
Our team studies the neural mechanisms responsible for social behavior.
How do we interact with others, and why?
Our brains evolved to deal with 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 behavior. Elucidating these neural mechanisms will ultimately help treat social deficits in numerous psychiatric disorders. In addressing these issues, our laboratory focuses on how the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala signal social decisions and mediate social gaze dynamics. We apply both neurophysiological and neuropharmacological approaches during real-life social interactions as well as functional neuroimaging techniques in humans while they make value-based social decisions.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
- Neural mechanisms of social interaction and social decision-making
- Social Neurophysiology
- Single-unit recordings from the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala
- Neurobiology of oxytocin-mediated social cognition
- Combined neurophysiology and neuropharmacology
- Neuroethology of social behavior
- Social reference frames
Extensive Research Description
Please visit: https://changlab.yale.edu
Amygdala; Neurophysiology; Social Behavior; Prefrontal Cortex
- Widespread implementations of interactive social gaze neurons in the primate prefrontal-amygdala networks.Dal Monte O*, Fan S*, Fagan NA, Chu CJC, Zhou MB, Putnam PT, Nair AR, Chang SWC. Widespread implementations of interactive social gaze neurons in the primate prefrontal-amygdala networks. Neuron (2022)
- Prefrontal–amygdala circuits in social decision-makingGangopadhyay P, Chawla M, Dal Monte O, Chang SWC. Prefrontal–amygdala circuits in social decision-making Nature Neuroscience 2020, 24: 5-18. PMID: 33169032, PMCID: PMC7899743, DOI: 10.1038/s41593-020-00738-9.
- Is There a ‘Social’ Brain? Implementations and AlgorithmsLockwood PL, Apps MAJ, Chang SWC. Is There a ‘Social’ Brain? Implementations and Algorithms Trends In Cognitive Sciences 2020, 24: 802-813. PMID: 32736965, PMCID: PMC7501252, DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2020.06.011.
- Aversion towards simple broken patterns predicts moral judgmentGollwitzer A, Martel C, Bargh J, Chang S. Aversion towards simple broken patterns predicts moral judgment Personality And Individual Differences 2020, 160: 109810. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.109810.
- The anterior cingulate cortex is necessary for forming prosocial preferences from vicarious reinforcement in monkeysBasile BM, Schafroth JL, Karaskiewicz CL, Chang SWC, Murray EA. The anterior cingulate cortex is necessary for forming prosocial preferences from vicarious reinforcement in monkeys PLOS Biology 2020, 18: e3000677. PMID: 32530910, PMCID: PMC7292358, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000677.
- Specialized medial prefrontal–amygdala coordination in other-regarding decision preferenceDal Monte O, Chu CCJ, Fagan NA, Chang SWC. Specialized medial prefrontal–amygdala coordination in other-regarding decision preference Nature Neuroscience 2020, 23: 565-574. PMID: 32094970, PMCID: PMC7131896, DOI: 10.1038/s41593-020-0593-y.
- Combinatorial Oxytocin Neuropharmacology in Social CognitionFan S, Weinberg-Wolf H, Piva M, Dal Monte O, Chang SWC. Combinatorial Oxytocin Neuropharmacology in Social Cognition Trends In Cognitive Sciences 2019, 24: 8-12. PMID: 31735541, DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2019.10.004.
- The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex computes task-invariant relative subjective value for self and otherPiva M, Velnoskey K, Jia R, Nair A, Levy I, Chang SW. The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex computes task-invariant relative subjective value for self and other ELife 2019, 8: e44939. PMID: 31192786, PMCID: PMC6565363, DOI: 10.7554/elife.44939.
- An Emerging Field of Primate Social Neurophysiology: Current DevelopmentsChang SWC. An Emerging Field of Primate Social Neurophysiology: Current Developments ENeuro 2017, 4: eneuro.0295-17.2017. PMID: 29085898, PMCID: PMC5659241, DOI: 10.1523/eneuro.0295-17.2017.
- Oxytocin under opioid antagonism leads to supralinear enhancement of social attentionDal Monte O, Piva M, Anderson KM, Tringides M, Holmes AJ, Chang SWC. Oxytocin under opioid antagonism leads to supralinear enhancement of social attention Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America 2017, 114: 5247-5252. PMID: 28461466, PMCID: PMC5441805, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1702725114.
- Live interaction distinctively shapes social gaze dynamics in rhesus macaquesDal Monte O, Piva M, Morris JA, Chang SW. Live interaction distinctively shapes social gaze dynamics in rhesus macaques Journal Of Neurophysiology 2016, 116: 1626-1643. PMID: 27486105, PMCID: PMC5144716, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00442.2016.
- The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus and Social Cognition: Tracking the Motivation of OthersApps MA, Rushworth MF, Chang SW. The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus and Social Cognition: Tracking the Motivation of Others Neuron 2016, 90: 692-707. PMID: 27196973, PMCID: PMC4885021, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.04.018.
- Neural Basis of Empathy and Its Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)Platt M, Chang S, Gariepy J. Neural Basis of Empathy and Its Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) 2013 DOI: 10.21236/ada591282.
- Neuronal reference frames for social decisions in primate frontal cortexChang SW, Gariépy JF, Platt ML. Neuronal reference frames for social decisions in primate frontal cortex Nature Neuroscience 2012, 16: 243-250. PMID: 23263442, PMCID: PMC3557617, DOI: 10.1038/nn.3287.
- Inhaled oxytocin amplifies both vicarious reinforcement and self reinforcement in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)Chang SW, Barter JW, Ebitz RB, Watson KK, Platt ML. Inhaled oxytocin amplifies both vicarious reinforcement and self reinforcement in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America 2012, 109: 959-964. PMID: 22215593, PMCID: PMC3271866, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1114621109.