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Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience

Suparna Choudhury (Editor), Jan Slaby (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3328-2
406 pages
November 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
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Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. This text’s original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscience with social studies of neuroscience while furthering the dialogue between neuroscience and the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Critical Neuroscience transcends traditional skepticism, introducing novel ideas about ‘how to be critical’ in and about science.
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Table of Contents

Credits vii

List of Illustrations viii

About the Editors x

List of Contributors xi

Preface xiii

Introduction: Critical Neuroscience—Between Lifeworld and Laboratory 1
Suparna Choudhury and Jan Slaby

Part I—Motivations and Foundations 27

1 Proposal for a Critical Neuroscience 29
Jan Slaby and Suparna Choudhury

2 The Need for a Critical Neuroscience: From Neuroideology to Neurotechnology 53
Steven Rose

3 Against First Nature: Critical Theory and Neuroscience 67
Martin Hartmann

4 Scanning the Lifeworld: Toward a Critical Neuroscience of Action and Interaction 85
Shaun Gallagher

Part II—Histories of the Brain 111

5 Toys are Us: Models and Metaphors in Brain Research 113
Cornelius Borck

6 The Neuromance of Cerebral History 135
Max Stadler

7 Empathic Cruelty and the Origins of the Social Brain 159
Allan Young

Part III— Neuroscience in Context: From Laboratory to Lifeworld 177

8 Disrupting Images: Neuroscientific Representations in the Lives of Psychiatric Patients 179
Simon Cohn

9 Critically Producing Brain Images of Mind 195
Joseph Dumit

10 Radical Reductions: Neurophysiology, Politics and Personhood in Russian Addiction Medicine 227
Eugene Raikhel

11 Delirious Brain Chemistry and Controlled Culture: Exploring the Contextual Mediation of Drug Effects 253
Nicolas Langlitz

Part IV— Situating the brain: From Lifeworld back to Laboratory? 263

12 From Neuroimaging to Tea Leaves in the Bottom of a Cup 265
Amir Raz

13 The Salmon of Doubt: Six Months of Methodological Controversy within Social Neuroscience 273
Daniel S. Margulies

14 Cultural Neuroscience as Critical Neuroscience in Practice 287
Joan Y. Chiao and Bobby K. Cheon

Part V— Beyond neural correlates: Ecological approaches to psychiatry 305

15 Re-Socializing Psychiatry: Critical Neuroscience and the Limits of Reductionism 307
Laurence J. Kirmayer and Ian Gold

16 Are Mental Illnesses Diseases of the Brain? 331
Thomas Fuchs

17 Are there Neural Correlates of Depression? 345
Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega

18 The Future of Critical Neuroscience 367
Laurence J. Kirmayer

Index 385

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Author Information

Suparna Choudhury is Junior Professor at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Berlin Institute for Mind and Brain, Humboldt University, Germany. Her research examines the emergence of the ?neurological adolescent'. She has also published on cultural neuroscience and topics at the intersection of neuroscience and society.

Jan Slaby is Junior Professor in Philosophy of Mind and Emotion at Free University Berlin, Germany. The author of a German-language book exploring the world-disclosing nature of human emotions, he has also been involved in research and teaching on the philosophy of psychiatry, with a particular focus on affective disorders and background feelings.

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Neurological thinking has extended itself into a great many spheres of life, from "neuroanthropology" to "neurozoology". We have urgently needed to understand this development within a broad historical and cultural context and Critical Neuroscience provides us with the necessary tools to engage with neuroscience and its social impacts in productive and intelligent ways. The book will be an extremely important resource for anyone interested in understanding how and why neuroscientific research has led us to think about social life in new ways.
Emily Martin, Professor of Anthropology, New York University and author of ‘Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture’

At a time where neuroscience, whether molecular or social, is expanding so rapidly to nearly all aspects of human societies, way beyond academia, this volume brings a welcome and refreshing perspective. Choudhury and Slaby are to be commended for bringing together various scholars within a framework that constructively criticizes and analyzes potentials and problems, promises and challenges, pitfalls and strengths associated with human neuroscience. This volume is extremely important to all, and is of special benefit to the emerging field of social neuroscience.
Jean Decety, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Co-Director of Brain Research Imaging Centre, University of Chicago

The neurosciences today are at once the site of genuinely exciting research, of wild claims for the field's “revolutionary” significance for human self-understanding, and of skeptical dismissals of both.   Critical Neuroscience shows instead how to analyze this scientific work with utmost seriousness, through critical reflection on its history and guiding assumptions, its involvement in multiple practical and institutional settings, its scientific prospects, and how it affects and is affected by how we think about ourselves.  The book offers a model for thoughtful engagement with innovative, widely influential scientific research.
Joseph Rouse, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the 'Science in Society' Program, Wesleyan University, USA

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