Professor in the Department of Neurobiology
Professor Mason's research focuses on the neurobiological basis of empathy and helping. She is internationally recognized for her participation in a controlled experiment that produced evidence of captive rats showing empathy, a state once thought to be unique to primates. Visit this link to read the article produced by Science. Here is a YouTube video that documents the experiment.
Currently, Prof. Mason is collaborating with the University of Birmingham, to study the role of sensory feedback in movement.
Mason has taught undergraduate, graduate and medical students and has received numerous teaching awards. Using her nearly 15 years of experience teaching medical students, Professor Mason wrote a single-author textbook designed for medical students (Medical Neurobiology, Oxford University Press (Second Addition), 2017). She is also the recipient of the Quantrell Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 2018.
Mason currently teaches neuroscience courses in Chicago and at the UChicago Center in Paris, but she also teaches an online course titled, Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life, that explores how the nervous system produces behavior and how neuroscience can explain common problems afflicting people today. This course is available to the public on Coursera.
In addition to her university teaching in Chicago, Mason runs an internship program that allows University of Chicago undergraduates conduct neuroscience research with Collége de France in Paris. Find the news article here.