Molly J. Crockett

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Molly J. Crockett
Awards Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Scientific career
Fields Neuroscience
Institutions University of Oxford
Doctoral advisor Prof Trevor Robbins

Molly J. Crockett is an American neuroscientist noted for her work on human morality, altruism and decision making.


Dr Molly Crockett is an Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Previously she was a fellow at University College London and University of Zürich, funded by the Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust, awarded in 2010.[1] Originally from Irvine, California, after a Bachelor of Science at UCLA she completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge (King's College, Cambridge) under a Gates Cambridge Scholarship[2]

Current work[edit]

Dr Crockett has published in several eminent journals [3] including Science, PNAS, Neuron, and The Journal of Neuroscience. Her work extends to Neuroeconomics, with the publication of Pharmacology of Economic and Social Decision-Making in Neuroeconomics: Decision-Making and the Brain.[4] Media appearances include TED talks on Drugs and Morals in 2011 and Beware Neuro Bunk in 2012 along with interviews on BBC radio 4[5] and BBC world service.[6] Molly has been featured in The New York Times,[7] Wired,[8] The Financial Times[9] and New Scientist.[10] Her work on the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin in decision making has generated significant interest. Tryptophan is a building block for serotonin.[11] The study found that tryptophan depletion increases behavioral reactions to unfairness and was engulfed by the media due to the high enrichment of tryptophan in cheese and chocolate, creating snappy headlines such as "Official: Chocolate stops you being grumpy". However, Molly warns of such exaggeration: "We have to be careful that we don't let overblown claims detract resources and attention away from the real science that's playing a much longer game."[12] "We lowered tryptophan in our study, where as the media articles were talking about what might happen if you increase, which hadn't been tested at the time."[11] "In our study were saying people make different decisions, not better or worse."[11]


  1. ^ "Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellows". Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Gates Cambridge Scholars". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Crockett, Molly. "Google Scholar". Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Neuroeconomics : decision making and the brain (02 ed.). [S.l.]: Academic Press Inc. ISBN 9780124160088. 
  5. ^ "BC Radio 4 Molly Crocket". 
  6. ^ "BBC world service". 
  7. ^ "Expense-Account Science". The New York Times. June 6, 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "how to spot 'neurobollocks'". Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "A sense of fair play does pay". November 5, 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Antidepressants make people less likely to harm others". 27 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Colanduno, Derek. "Skepticality of Cheese and Neuro-Bunk". Skepticality. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "TED talk: Molly Crockett Beware Neuro Bunk". 

External links[edit]