Cornelis Wiersma Visiting Professor of Neurobiology Seminar
Title: "Quasi-experimental Causality in Neuroscience and Behavioral Research"
Abstract: In many scientific domains, causality is the key question. For example, in neuroscience, we might ask about the causal effect of a medication or the activity of a neuron on perception, action, or cognition. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard to establish causality, but they are not always practical. Since the 1980's, empirical economics has undergone a so-called credibility revolution, requiring the development of rigorous methods to establish causality even when RCTs are not available. Here we review these methods and focus on quasi-experiments relevant to neuroscience. We highlight how behavioral researchers can use quasi-experiments to do research that can credibly demonstrate causal effects.