Welcome to the University of Chicago Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, headed by Dr. Jean Decety. We study the neurobiological and psychological mechanisms underlying affective and social interpersonal processes and their expressions in behavior.


Because atypical socioemotional functioning and the lack of empathy are hallmark characteristics of psychopathy and, in these individuals, are associated with callous disregard for the well-being of others, and little appreciation of moral wrongdoing, we further study people with various levels of psychopathic traits, including forensic psychopaths.


To examine to development of moral cognition and prosocial behavior, we have a separate child friendly space:

The University of Chicago Child Neurosuite.






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Recent Publications

Moral intuitions and evaluations in forensic psychopaths

Translational Psychiatry


Affective sharing and empathic concern in psychopathy

Journal of Neurophysiology

Is empathy necessary for moral behavior?

Perspectives on Psychological Science

Sensitivity to justice and the moral brain

Journal of Neuroscience