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Penn State Psychologist to Lecture on the Brain and Moral Behavior

(Posted March 28, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Paul Eslinger, professor of neurology, neural and behavioral sciences, pediatrics and radiology at the Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center, will lecture at Juniata College on "Social-Moral Emotions and the Human Brain" at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 7, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Department of Psychology.

Eslinger will talk on whether the social and moral aspects of human behavior are innate -- having a biological basis -- or whether a moral life comes from higher reasoning and cognitive abilities. Eslinger's research and the work of other researchers has challenged longstanding theories about morality, aggression, empathy and social intelligence, which has altered how the medical community understands the neurological basis for human actions and social behavior.

Much of Eslinger's talk will focus on how social emotions and social knowledge are integrated in the brain and how the integration affects the emergence of sociopathic and pro-social behavior.

Eslinger is a clinical neuropsychologist and cognitive neuroscientist whose research centers on how the brain is organized, what factors affect the brain's maturation, and the diseases that affect brain function. He has published numerous articles on the relationships between brain and behavior in children and adults.

He has been on the Penn State faculty since 1990 starting as an associate professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1996. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Fordham University in 1974 and went on to earn a master's degree in 1978 and a doctoral degree in 1980, both in experimental psychology and neuroscience, and both from Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas.

He is a licensed psychologist and is a member of the Academy of Aphasia, the American Psychological Association and the International Neuropsychological Society.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.