January 7, 2014

Prof. Paul Zak to speak at Sundance Film Festival

Paul Zak, professor in Claremont Graduate University’s School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation, will be a featured speaker at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

 />Zak will be a panelist for a Jan. 18 <a href=discussion on the power of story. Joining him on the panel are Dave Isay, the founder of StortyCorps; photographer Louie Psihoyos; Jess Search, producer and CEO of the BRITDOC Foundation; and Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

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.

More recently, Zak has researched how effective stories trigger the release of neurochemicals and affect human behavior.

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the best-known and largest independent film festivals in the United States. More than 45,000 people are expected to attend the 10-day event.