- Oxford Library of Psychology
- The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About The Editors
- Locating Culture in the Brain and in the World: From Social Categories to the Ecology of Mind
- Cultural Neuroscience and Neurophilosophy: Does the Neural Code Allow for the Brain’s Enculturation?
- Sensory Enculturation and Neuroanthropology: The Case of Human Echolocation
- Health, Development, and the Culture-Ready Brain
- Culture as a Response to Uncertainty: Foundations of Computational Cultural Neuroscience
- Cultural Values Modulate Emotional Processing in Human Amygdala
- Genes, Brain, and Culture Through a 5-HTT Lens
- Embodied Brains, Social Minds: Toward a Cultural Neuroscience of Social Emotion
- Cultural Neuroscience in South Africa: Promises and Pitfalls
- Cross-Cultural Differences in Memory
- When Culture Informs Neuroscience: Considerations for Community-Based Neurogenetics Research and Clinical Care in a First Nation Community With Early Onset Familial Alzheimer Disease
- Quantifying Culture: The Cultural Distance Hypothesis of Melodic Expectancy
- Cultural Neuroscience Studies of the Self-Reflection
- Identifying a Cultural Resource: Neural Mechanisms Underlying Familial Influence on Adolescent Risk Taking
- Cultural Differences in Emotional Expressions and Body Language
- How Next-Generation Neuroscience Technologies Can Facilitate Comparison Across Cultural Contexts and Species: Implications for Global Health
- The Cultural Neuroscience of Intergroup Bias
- Cultural Neuroscience of Pain and Empathy
- The Gene–Culture Interaction Framework and Implications for Health
- Epigenetics and Social Behavior
- The Encultured Genome: Molecular Evidence for Recent Divergent Evolution in Human Neurotransmitter Genes
- The Role of Culture in Population Mental Health: Prevalence of Mental Disorders Among Asian and Asian American Populations
- Culture, Genes, and Socioemotional Neurodevelopment: Searching for Clues to Common Mental Disorders
- Conclusion—<i>Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience</i>
Abstract and Keywords
Cultural neuroscience explores the interplay between the social transmission of knowledge and the functional organization of the nervous system. However, much current cultural neuroscience simplifies culture into categories and constructs. The operationalization of culture as categories and traits that can be measured using questionnaires or priming techniques often lacks cultural validity. Moreover, treatment of culture as a set of fixed and even hard-wired traits has the potential to reify and essentialize differences between groups that are better understood as culturally constructed, fluid, and context-dependent. We argue that culture is better conceived of in terms of interactional processes rather than categories and demonstrate how a more nuanced understanding of culture in cultural neuroscience can contribute to an understanding of mind, self, and emotion as embodied, socially embedded, and situated or enacted in specific contexts, opening up new directions for research with greater potential relevance to issues of health and social disparity.
Rebecca Seligman is a medical and psychological anthropologist at Northwestern University who focuses on transcultural psychiatry, or the study of mental health in cross-cultural perspective. Her research interests involve critical examination of the social and political-economic forces that affect the experience and distribution of mental and physical illness, with an emphasis on the physical processes and mechanisms through which such forces become embodied. Seligman is interested in the relationships of stress, social disadvantage, and cultural models of selfhood to outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, somatization, diabetes, and depression. She is also exploring current neurobiological research concerning these phenomena. Her past research has explored the connection between mental health and religious participation in northeastern Brazil. Seligman’s recent publications include a book entitled Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion.
Suparna Choudhury Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Laurence J. Kirmayer Department of Psychiatry McGill University Montreal, Quebec
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