January 24, 2014

Prof. Paul Zak to speak at South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas

Paul Zak, professor in Claremont Graduate University’s School of Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation, will be a featured speaker at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas on March 11.

Zak will lead a discussion on the neurochemistry of brand love, or what human physiology tells us about a consumer’s ability to connect with brands. Zak will be joined in the discussion by Uwe Gutschow, VP of digital & engagement strategy at INNOCEAN USA.

Zak is the director of CGU’s Center for Neuroeconomic Studies. His lab discovered in 2004 that a chemical in our brains, oxytocin, allows us to determine whom to trust. This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for modern civilizations and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The SXSW Interactive Festival, now in its 21st year, is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. It features five days of presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, networking events, and a lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas. More than 30,000 people participated in last year’s festival.

It is held annually in conjunction with a host of other SXSW events, including the popular SXSW Music Festival.

This will be Zak’s second appearance this year at a major pop culture festival. He was previously a featured panelist for a Jan. 18 discussion on the power of story at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.