Social Neuroscience and Public Health: Foundations for the Science of Chronic Disease Prevention

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9781489991317: Social Neuroscience and Public Health: Foundations for the Science of Chronic Disease Prevention
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The field of public health is primarily concerned with understanding and improving physical health from a large group perspective (i.e., communities and whole populations). The field of social neuroscience, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with examining brain-behavior relationships that unfold in a social context. Both of these are rapidly developing fields of inquiry, and their boundaries have only recently begun to overlap. This book discusses collaborative research findings at the intersection of social neuroscience and public health that promise to fundamentally change the way scientists, public health practitioners, and the general public view physical health within the larger social context. Eighteen chapters are organized under the following major sections: cognition and health outcomes; neuroscientific aspects of health communication; health behavior and the neurobiology of self-regulation; neurobiological processes in health decision making; ecological and social context; neuroscience methods; and future directions.

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Traditionally, neuroscience and public health have been considered strange bedfellows.  Now a new collection of studies shows the two fields  as logical collaborators with major potential for the evolution of both fields.

Social Neuroscience and Public Health assembles current theoretical viewpoints, research findings in familiar and emerging areas, and updates on assessment methods to give readers a unique in-depth guide to the social brain and its central role in health promotion. This stimulating reference spans the intersection of two disciplines, offering new insights into the mechanics of risks, rewards, and willpower, revisiting the developmental effects of adversity and the impact of exercise on brain health, and applying epidemiology to cognitive science. Accessibly written for researchers and professionals within and outside both fields, the chapters include bullet-point and policy implication features for ease of retention. The book's innovative ideas lend themselves to a variety of applications, from fine-tuning disease prevention strategies to deeper understanding of addictions. Included in the coverage:

  • Latest theoretical perspectives on health behavior (e.g., picoeconomics, MCII, and temporal self-regulation theory)
  • Updates on health communications and their effects on the brain.
  • New research on cognitive resources and health behavior execution.
  • Leading-edge studies on the brain, the social world, and stress.
  • Findings from the forefront of exercise neuroscience.
  • A concise introduction to neuroscience methods for the non-technical reader.

A rich resource pointing to a promising future in research and prevention efforts, Social Neuroscience and Public Health benefits professionals and researchers in public health, medicine, cognitive neuroscience, health psychology, epidemiology, sociology and affiliated fields.

“This bridge-builder of a book comes exactly at the right time. With the field of public health rapidly expanding, public health professionals, neuroscientists, social psychologists, and policymakers alike will profit from this immensely integrative achievement. Social Neuroscience and Public Health connects two fast-developing fields that can learn and profit immensely from each other.” -- Wilhelm Hofmann, PhD, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

 

“In this book you will find a number of intriguing possibilities for changing behaviour that

arise out of a scientific base hitherto little known beyond the field. Bringing this together

has immense potential not just for strengthening public health but also for strengthening

behavioral and neuro-sciences.” –Theresa Marteau, PhD, Institute of Public Health, Unviersity of Cambridge

About the Author:

Peter Hall, PhD, CPsych, is an associate professor of applied health sciences at the University of Waterloo (UW), where he is jointly appointed to the School of Public Health and Health Systems and to the Department of Kinesiology (Neuroscience research group). Dr. Hall is a past recipient of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award, and an Early Career Award from the Canadian Psychological Association (Health Psychology section). He is founding director of the UW Social Neuroscience and Health Laboratory. His research examines the joint contributions of social-cognitive and neurocognitive factors to the production of health behavior trajectories in everyday life. Dr. Hall serves on the editorial boards of Health Psychology and Journal of Behavioral Medicine, and he is associate editor for the Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, as well as the forthcoming Springer volume, Behavioral and Social Science in Medicine. He is a licensed clinical psychologist andhas more than a decade of experience providing clinical services to chronic illness populations in multidisciplinary healthcare settings.

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