Dr. Haroush’s laboratory studies the mechanisms by which highly complex behaviors are mediated at the neuronal level, mainly focusing on the example of dynamic social interactions and the neural circuits that drive them. From dyadic interactions to group dynamics and collective decision making, the lab seeks a mechanistic understanding for the fundamental building blocks of societies, such as cooperation, empathy, fairness and reciprocity.
The computations underlying social interactions are highly distributed across many brain areas. Dr. Haroush’s lab is interested in which specific areas are involved in a particular function, why such an architecture arises and how activity in multiple networks is coordinated. Their goal is to develop a roadmap of the social brain and use it for guiding restorative treatments for conditions in which social behavior is impaired, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Schizophrenia.