Anthropogenic climate change poses a substantial threat to societal living conditions. Here, we argue that neuroscience can substantially contribute to the fight against climate change and provide a framework and a roadmap to organize and prioritize neuroscience research in this domain. We outline how neuroscience can be used to: (1) investigate the negative impact of climate change on the human brain; (2) identify ways to adapt; (3) understand the neural substrates of decisions with pro-environmental and harmful outcomes; and (4) create neuroscience-based insights into communication and intervention strategies that aim to promote climate action. The paper is also a call to action for neuroscientists to join broader scientific efforts to tackle the existential environmental threats Earth is currently facing.
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This work was supported in part by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation to K.C.D. (grant no. P400PS_190997), a National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Communities grant (grant no. CNS-1952050) to M.G.B., and grants from the John Templeton Foundation and Jigsaw to J.J.V.B. We would like to thank B. Todorova for her assistance with editing and formatting the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Doell, K.C., Berman, M.G., Bratman, G.N. et al. Leveraging neuroscience for climate change research. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-023-01857-4