Throughout most of the 20th century, social and biological sciences were widely viewed as incompatible. The new field of social neuroscience challenges that belief.
Social neuroscience recognises and explores the complex interrelationship that our social environment, ecology, and metabolic functions have on shaping the mind, brain, physical heath and behaviour of individuals.
Using concepts and methods from epigenetics, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, biology, and the social sciences, social neuroscience investigates the neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms that underlie social processes, individual behaviour and human nature. Conversely, it uses social, psychological and behavioural constructs and data to advance theories of neural organisation and brain function.
Combining this approach with technical revolutions in brain imaging and genomics, social neuroscience is at the forefront of developments which are creating a whole new paradigm in patient treatment for brain disorders and mental illness. These developments will revolutionise the delivery of psychological services.
Not only can findings from social neuroscience be applied to health, they can also be used to predict and explain human behaviour and social process in ways that could be used in social welfare, urban planning, environmental management, education, business management, and many other fields of endeavour.