In order to effectively communicate with another person, we need to know something about his or her mental state: how they are feeling, what they are thinking, and what motivates them. Jason Mitchell is using brain imaging techniques to study how we function socially, an example of the growing field of social neuroscience. His research has clarified two characteristics of social cognition: first, that social thought is different from other types of thinking, and second, that one of the ways we understand the minds of others is by referring to our own mental state. In 2010, Mitchell was among the inaugural recipients of the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions.
August 12, 2011