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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The term ‘social neuroscience’ combines two topics of scientific enquiry—the ‘social’ and the ‘brain’—whose relation can be analyzed from two different perspectives: either from a broader historical one focusing on the emergence of modern brain research even before neuroscience was formed, or from a narrower one, based on a conceptual idea of how disciplines and research fields are characterized in contemporary science. This chapter analyzes the latter aspect, although it begins with some remarks on the former perspective. The analysis is made from the ‘external’ perspective of history and sociology of science intending to reconstruct origins, properties, and discourses that lead to today’s understanding of social neuroscience as a disciplinary field.

Keywords: history of neuroscience, social brain, social neuroscience, academic discipline, bibliometry, impact analysis, science studies, interdisciplinarity, discipline building

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