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This unique book offers a timely analysis of the impact of rapidly advancing knowledge about the brain, mind and behaviour on contemporary public policy and practice. It analyses the global spread of research agendas, policy experiments and everyday practice informed by ‘brain culture’.
This book is an edited collection introducing the Education Policy and Social Inequality series, and presents chapters from authors on the editorial board. It investigates relations between educational policy and social inequality, not simply in terms of policy solutions for inequalities but also how education policy frames, creates and at times exacerbates social inequalities. It adopts a critical stance, encompassing innovative and interdisciplinary theoretical and conceptual studies – drawing on e.g. sociology, cultural studies, social and cultural geography, and history – as well as original empirical work that examines a range of educational contexts, including early years education, vocational and further education, informal education, K-12 schooling and higher education. The book argues that critique and policy studies can have a transformative function, positing new dimensions for understanding the role of education policy in connection with recurrent social problems and seeking the amelioration of social inequality in ways that challenge the possibility of equity in the liberal democratic state, as well as in other forms of governance and government.
There have been significant developments in the state of psychological, neuroscientific and behavioural scientific knowledge relating to the human mind, brain, action and decision-making over the past two decades. These developments have influenced public policy making and popular culture in the UK and elsewhere – through policies and emerging social practices focussed on behavioural change, happiness, wellbeing, therapy, resilience and character. Yet little attention has been paid to examining the wider political and ethical significance of the widespread use of psychological governance techniques. There is a pressing and recognised need to address the behaviour change agenda in relation to how our cultural ideas about the brain, mind, behaviour and self are changing. This book provides a critical account of existing forms of psychological governance in relation to public policy. It asks whether we can speak of a co-ordinated and novel shift in governance or, rather, whether these trends are more simply pragmatic policy tools based on advances in scientific evidence. With contributions from leading scholars across the social sciences from the UK, the USA and Canada, chapters identify practical, political and research challenges posed by the current policy enthusiasm for particular branches of affective neuroscience, behavioural economics, positive psychology and happiness economics. The core focus of this book is to investigate the ways in which knowledge about the mind, brain and behaviour has informed the methods and techniques of governance and to explore the implications of this for shaping citizen identity and social practice. This groundbreaking book will be of interest to students, scholars and policy-makers interested and working within geography, economics, sociology, psychology, politics and cultural studies.
This volume presents recent empirical advances using neuroscience techniques to investigate how culture influences neural processes underlying a wide range of human abilities, from perception and scene processing to memory and social cognition. It also highlights the theoretical and methodological issues with conducting cultural neuroscience research. Section I provides diverse theoretical perspectives on how culture and biology interact are represented. Sections II –VI is to demonstrate how cultural values, beliefs, practices and experience affect neural systems underlying a wide range of human behavior from perception and cognition to emotion, social cognition and decision-making. The final section presents arguments for integrating the study of culture and the human brain by providing an explicit articulation of how the study of culture can inform the study of the brain and vice versa.
High level introductory psychology book with an attention to both the biological basis of psychology and the role of culture in shaping basic biological processes. Theories are provided in a conceptual framework that captures the excitement and tensions of the field. The book takes a micro to macro focus - from biology and neuroscience to culture. It demonstrates the integration between thoughts, feelings, motivations, social behavior, etc. Revised to include up-to-date research and a more balanced coverage with four new perspectives - psychodynamics, behavioral, cognitive, and evolutionary - introduced in depth to allow readers to begin conceptualizing psychological data.
How is the human brain shaped by our sociocultural experiences? What neural correlates underlie the extraordinary cultural diversity of human behavior? How do our genes interact with sociocultural experiences to moderate human brain functional organization and behavior? This Sociocultural Brain provides a new perspective on human brain functional organization, highlighting the role of human sociocultural experience and its interaction with genes in shaping human brain and behavior. Drawing on cutting edge research from the burgeoning field of cultural neuroscience, it reveals the cross-cultural differences in human brain activity that underlye a multitude of cognitive and affective processes - including visual perception/attention, memory, causal attribution, inference of others' mental states, self-reflection, and empathy. In addition, it presents studies that integrate brain imaging and cultural priming to explore the causal relationship between culture and brain functional organization. The book ends with a discussion of the implications of cultural neuroscience findings for understanding the nature of human brain and culture, as well as the implications for education, cross-cultural communication and conflict, and the clinical treatment of mental disorders.
Research shows that between birth and early adulthood the brain requires sensory stimulation to develop physically. The nature of the stimulation shapes the connections among neurons that create the neuronal networks necessary for thought and behavior. By changing the cultural environment, each generation shapes the brains of the next. By early adulthood, the neuroplasticity of the brain is greatly reduced, and this leads to a fundamental shift in the relationship between the individual and the environment: during the first part of life, the brain and mind shape themselves to the major recurring features of their environment; by early adulthood, the individual attempts to make the environment conform to the established internal structures of the brain and mind. In Brain and Culture, Bruce Wexler explores the social implications of the close and changing neurobiological relationship between the individual and the environment, with particular attention to the difficulties individuals face in adulthood when the environment changes beyond their ability to maintain the fit between existing internal structure and external reality. These difficulties are evident in bereavement, the meeting of different cultures, the experience of immigrants (in which children of immigrant families are more successful than their parents at the necessary internal transformations), and the phenomenon of interethnic violence. Integrating recent neurobiological research with major experimental findings in cognitive and developmental psychology--with illuminating references to psychoanalysis, literature, anthropology, history, and politics--Wexler presents a wealth of detail to support his arguments. The groundbreaking connections he makes allow for reconceptualization of the effect of cultural change on the brain and provide a new biological base from which to consider such social issues as "culture wars" and ethnic violence.

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