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2012 AAA Neuroanthropology

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Greg Downey

on 17 November 2012

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Transcript of 2012 AAA Neuroanthropology

Greg Downey Department of Anthropology
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW, Australia A brain-shaped culture: Cultural theory after neuroanthropology http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology Shweder, Richard A., and Bourne, Edmund J. (1984) ‘Does the concept of the person vary cross-culturally?’ in Richard A. Shweder and Robert A. LeVine (eds.). Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 158-99. Independent v. Interdependent Selves Diagram from: Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion and motivation. Psychological Review 98(2): 224–253.
Hazel Rose Markus and Shinobu Kitayama focused on self processes in US and East Asian subjects. http://lynx.let.hokudai.ac.jp/CSM/workshops/img/kitayama2.JPG ‘our answer is obviously “yes”; we have tried to identify two major alternative conceptualizations of the individual-social relationship, namely, the egocentric contractual and the sociocentric organic. Neither of these conceptualizations of the relationship of the individual to society has the epistemological status of a scientific category. They are not inductive generalizations. They are not the discoveries of individual perception. Quite the contrary, the egocentric and sociocentric views are the creations of the collective imagination. They are ideas, premises by which people guide their lives, and only to the extent that people live by them do they have force.’ culture Diagram from Westermann, G., Mareschal, D., Johnson, M. H., Sirois, S., Spratling, M. W. and Thomas, M. S. 2007. Neuroconstructivism. Developmental Science 10:75-83. Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic our role in generating a more robust exploration of the neurological consequences of human cultural variation... 'enculturation' diet exercise patterns participatory sports patterns of conscious thought 'health' ideology political-economic relations occupations 'self-coaching' actions directed at body socio-historical athletic traditions gender ideology self evaluation interactions with coaches microsociological-interactional sociological-structural as symbolic or ideational realm sporting practice as an example where might we see neural enculturation? the search for mechanisms... The 'low hanging' fruit emotional suppression or exaggeration emotional sequencing or chaining bio-looping of favoured states skill acquisition and automation perceptual and attentional training child rearing suppression or diversion of reflex or automatic processes variations in psychopathology The problem: so much of current focus in cultural anthropology on subtle differences that may not be amenable to neuropsychological study & literacy cultural anthropologists not in the habit of psychologically operationalizing our discussion of culture (socio-political scaling) & resistant to seeing culture talked about biologically. generating research questions that may be beyond our own disciplinary capacities. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6202/6028205005_4971e6a2a7.jpg What's missing? a return of ethnology a resurgence of holism the end of culture-biology as meaningful contrast helping to create the broadest possible brain science. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8152/7176812530_baabe07116.jpg conclusion pain perception adaptation to technology equilibrium training: capoeira but this is just an examination of 'the habitus'/'embodied culture'/'implicit knowledge'...! Thank you for your attention! Shweder and Bourne on variations in self
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