Paul Zak, a pioneer in the field of neuroeconomics, talks about the genes that can make or break a Wall Street trader, and about the chemical that helps us all get along.
Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2012
Neuroscience might seem to have little to do with economics, but over the last decade researchers have begun combining these disparate fields, mining the latest advances in brain imaging and genetics to get a better understanding of the biological basis for human behavior.
Paul Zak is a pioneer in this nascent field of neuroeconomics. In a recent paper published in the journal PLoS One, he examined genes that may predict success among traders on Wall Street. His forthcoming book, “The Moral Molecule,” will explore how a chemical in the brain called oxytocin compels cooperation in society.
Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University, discussed this work with The Times.
Phi Beta Iota: Convergence is upon us. Most universities do not get this, but a couple are struggling to change recalcitrant faculty and force the break-down of silos and the reconstitution of unified knowledge. We are at the very beginning of most interesting times.