Opportunities and Risks for Using Neuroscience in Communication Research

Event Date: 

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 12:00pm

Event Location: 

  • SSMS 2135

René Weber

Department of Communication, UCSB

Numerous histories of communication science argue that our discipline evolved from earlier investigations in psychology and sociology in the early to mid 20th century and was always characterized by transdisciplinary perspectives. Today, scholars in related fields such as psychology have begun to study human behavior with state-of-the-art neuroscientific approaches. In the field of communication, however, it seems that this opportunity remained unexplored with few exceptions. Today, however, a critical mass of scholars is now employing brain science and brain imaging to advance theory and application within communication.

This talk debates opportunities, but also risks of incorporating neuroscientific approaches – mainly functional brain imaging – into communication research. René Weber will discuss questions that can be addressed with neuroscientific approaches and present a selection of his brain imaging studies in the areas of media violence, media entertainment, and health communication/persuasion. A new analytical paradigm for brain imaging experiments using typical low-controlled stimuli in mass communication research will be presented. The colloquium will also demonstrate that the communication discipline has a lot to offer for neuroscientists.

For more information, please visit the Media Neuroscience Lab website.