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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 14
Title: The Brain and Human Behavior: The Neuroscience/Social Science Nexus
Lead Author: Restivo, Sal
Abstract: ABSTRACT The brain has become one of the iconic boundary objects in twenty-first century science, claimed as a key material or symbolic resource across the disciplines. Brain researchers have traditionally assumed that individuals and brains can be studied independently and in isolation from social, cultural and historical contexts. Theories about theory of mind have followed the same individualistic pathway. Challenges to these ideas have been accumulating for at least the last thirty years in brain and mind studies. More recently, there has been a turn to the social in the neuro- and life sciences driven in part by (1) pioneering research in neuroscience on the plasticity of the brain and neuronal regeneration, and (2) a growing sensitivity to society, world, and environment as contexts for the actions of the brain and mind. The more extreme isolationist ideas are increasingly yielding to sociological and anthropological perspectives and concepts. As early as 1980, Maturana and Varela were suggesting an appropriate model in this context that treated the brain as an aggregated system of social and biological systems. This white paper argues for dedicating resources to fostering social research on the brain and strengthening the neuroscience/social science nexus.
PDF: Restivo_Sal_14.pdf

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