Molecular Neuroscience Department: Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience, Social Cognition, Functional Neuroimaging
Dr. Frank Krueger is Assistant Professor of Social Cognitive Neuroscience at the Molecular Neuroscience Department/ Department of Psychology at George Mason University. He received his Master’s degree in Psychology (1997), a Ph.D. degree in Cognitive Psychology (2000), and a Habilitation degree (venia legendi) (2011) in Psychology at the Department of Cognitive Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin in Germany and a Master’s degree in Physics (2002) from Free University Berlin in Germany. He is Chief of the Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience (ECON) Lab at the Krasnow Institute, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics at George Mason University, and Lead Investigator of the Warfighter Head Injury Study at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, MD.
As a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist, I am interested in understanding the mind-brain relationships of human social cognition. By applying methods from cognitive psychology, experimental economics, and social neuroscience, I am pursuing the following three lines of research in studying both the proximate neural mechanisms (i.e., how they work) and the ultimate functions (i.e., why they exist and work) of social cognition. The first line of research aims to understand the development, maintenance, and recovery of interpersonal trust in social dyads and groups. The second line of research seeks to advance understanding of how social beliefs (e.g., moral, religious, and free will beliefs) shape prosocial and antisocial behavior. The third line of research is designed to shed light on the neuroplasticity of social cognition associated with neurofeedback training and recovery from traumatic brain injury. I believe that an interdisciplinary approach that combines neuroimaging of brain function and connectivity, neurogenetics, neuroendocrinology, and brain lesion analysis provides the emerging field of social neuroscience with new perspectives for a better understanding of the neural architecture of social cognition. Moreover, it can help to transfer basic research findings into treatment for and prevention of social brain disorders ultimately providing benefits to human health.
Krueger F, Parasuraman R, Moody L, Twieg P, de Visser E, McCabe K, O'Hara M, Lee M. Oxytocin selectively increases perceptions of harm for victims but not the desire to punish offenders of criminal offenses. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. doi:10.1093/scan/nss026.
Krueger F, Parasuraman R, Iyengar V, Thornburg M, Weel J, Lin M, Clarke E, McCabe K, Lipsky R. Oxytocin receptor genetic variation promotes human trust behavior. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2012; 6 :4. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00004.
Krueger F, Pardini M, Huey ED, Raymont V, Solomon J, Lipsky RH, Hodgkinson CA, Goldman D, Grafman J. The role of the met 66 BDNF allele in the recovery of executive functioning following combat-related traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neuroscience 2011: 31(2). 598-606.
Krueger F, Barbey A, McCabe K, Strenziok M, Zamboni G, Solomon J, Raymont V, Grafman J. The neural bases of key competencies of emotional intelligence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009, 106(52): 22468-91.
Krueger F, Barbey AK, Grafman J. The medial prefrontal cortex mediates social event knowledge. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2009; 13(3): 103-109.
Krueger F, McCabe K, Moll J, Kriegeskorte N, Heinecke A, Zahn R, Strenziok M, Grafman J. Neural correlates of trust. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007; 104: 20084-20089.
In the Media
Analyzing Brain Functions to treat Wounded Warriors
Mason Research 2011: Discovery and Innovation at George Mason University (April 14th 2011)
Does Constant Violence Desensitize or Bore Teens?
Life Science (October 19th 2010)
Watching Violent TV or Video Games Desensitizes Teenagers and May Promote More Aggressive Behavior, New Study Finds
Science Daily (October 19th 2010)
Religious Thoughts and Feelings Not Limited to One Part of Brain
The New York Times (March 9th 2009)