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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) Lab

The Communication Brain and Behavior (CBB) Lab, directed by Chris Cascio, uses tools from communication neuroscience and social neuroscience to understand when persuasion works. Our research focuses on neurocognitive mechanisms associated with social influence (e.g., social norms, peer influence) and persuasive messages delivered through mass media, social media, and interpersonal communication in order to better understand subsequent behavior. More specifically, our research aims to: 1) understand the core mechanisms that drive behavior change in response to social influence and persuasive messages; 2) understand how situational social context (e.g., being in the presence of a risky versus safe peer), socio-demographic context factors (e.g., high versus low socioeconomic status (SES)), and development (e.g., adolescents versus young adults) moderate neural mechanisms associated with social influence and persuasion; and 3) understand how intervention strategies (e.g., self-affirmations) alter neural mechanisms associated with social influence and persuasion, and how these changes relate to behavior change.
Faculty Leader: Chris Cascio

Recent News and Posts

New CBB article “Parental education is associated with differential engagement of neural pathways during inhibitory control”

New article “Parental education is associated with differential engagement of neural pathways during inhibitory control” in Nature.com’s Scientific Reports led by Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) Lab faculty leader Chris Cascio. Continue reading

CBB researchers give a talk to Ford’s Global Communications Team

Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) lab faculty leader Chris Cascio and Matt Minich gave a talk to Ford’s Global Communications Team about the neuroscience behind persuasion and influence. The talk was an opportunity for researchers and industry to learn from each other about the ways we approach communications and the issues we face in a quickly evolving technology and digital media environment.

CBB faculty leader Chris Cascio elected vice chair of ICA Communication Science & Biology group

Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) lab faculty leader assistant professor Chris Cascio has been elected as vice chair of the International Communication Association’s Communication Science & Biology interest group. The election saw 26% voter turnout. Fellow leadership elected include student and early career representative Shelby Wilcox of Michigan State University and international liasion Ralf Schmaelzle of Michigan State University See all election results here.

CBB Article One of the Most Downloaded of 2020

An article co-authored by Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) Lab faculty leader Chris Cascio in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience was one of the journal’s most downloaded of 2020. Continue reading

MCRC Faculty Leaders Win 2020 Fall Research Competition Grant

MCRC Faculty Leaders Chris Cascio, Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) Lab Faculty Leader, and Sijia Yang, Computational Approaches and Message Effects Research (CAMER) Group Faculty Leader, are co-PIs on a new project, “Developing and Testing the Impacts of Cannabis Prevention Messages for At-Risk Young Adults”. They have received funding for their proposal submitted to the 2020 Fall Research Competition. Abstract: The proliferation of legalizing recreational use of cannabis products, combined with shifted public perceptions and youth-appealing marketing has put young adults at high risk for cannabis use initiation and progression into disorder. Despite that early onset of regular cannabis use is … Continue reading