Neurosociology: The Nexus Between Neuroscience and Social Psychology / Edition 1

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Overview

The goal of this ground-breaking volume is to present how neuroscience research is relevant to sociologists and social psychologists as well as examining those areas of neuroscience that can refine and broaden sociological theory.

The study of the brain and its effect on behavior grew to prominence in the mid-20th century. Neuroscientists and psychologists worked together in this area in the behavioral sciences but neuroscience has not had a big impact in sociology and the social sciences.

Recently, neuroscientists have presented new research which has a direct impact on many areas of sociology. These include the human "self", the social nature of mind, socialization and language acquisition, role-taking and role-making, consciousness, intersubjectivity, a balanced social constructionism, human agency and the necessity of emotion for rational decision making. These are only some of the areas of sociology which and to which they have contributed important refinements.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

“The intent of this book is to break down ‘the walls between sociology and neuroscience to the benefit of both’ … . clearly intended for sociological social psychologists. … How successful was this book in achieving the relevant depth and comprehensiveness of the issue raised above? Very successful in both respects. … this book clearly identifies and explains the pivotal issues in this literature. … the author has done an excellent as well as timely job in drawing out these implications.” (Paul Tibbetts, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 86 (3), September, 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441955302
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 3/26/2010
  • Edition description: 1st Edition. 2nd Printing. 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,036,582
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

Split-Brain Research and Symbolic Interaction's Theory of Accounts: An Example of Convergence 3

Neurosociology and the Self 4

Neuroscience and a Sociological Unit of Analysis 5

Examples of Mutual Interests 6

Early Recognitions of Emergents 7

Mind as Exerting a True Mental Force Over Its Parts 8

Emotion's Involvement in Rational Choice 9

Science's Rediscovery of Chicago Pragmatism and Curbs on the Excesses of the Linguistic Turn 9

Transcending Exclusive Reductionism 10

Some Generalizations About the Emotional Brain 11

Examples of Neurosociology 14

Qualifications of Theories and Methods 15

Looking Ahead 17

References 18

2 The Evolution of the Human Brain 21

The Homo Sapiens Family Tree 24

Suggestions About the Origins of Speech 29

Conclusion: Thoughts About Evolution and the Brain and the Function of Beliefs 34

Important Developments in the Evolution of the Human Brain 36

References 37

3 What Is Social About the Human Brain? 39

Intersubjectivity 40

The Construction of Persons and Their Subjectivities 42

Language, the Brain, and the Construction of One's Self and Others 42

Misidentification Syndromes 44

The Brain as Social 44

The Fusiform Facial Area 48

The Importance of Eye Gaze in Social Life 51

Autism as a Partial Loss of Social Connection 53

When the Social Environment Fails Our Social Brains: an Ugly Story 55

A Neurosociological Interpretation of Isolation 57

Conclusion 59

References 60

4 The New Unconscious: Agency and Awareness 63

Balancing Awareness and Unawareness 64

Consciousness as Center Stage in Symbolic Interaction 66

The New Unconscious as Procedure and Content 67

The Unconscious and Political Manipulation 78

My In-Group Right or Wrong 81

Conclusion 82

References 83

5 Mirror Neurons: A Return to Pragmatism and Implications for an Embodied Intersubjectivity 85

Thinking as Internal Conversation and Motor Process 91

Mirror Neurons and Emotion 99

Conclusion 100

References 103

6 The Neuroscience of Emotion and Its Relation to Cognition 105

Parts of the Brain Related to Emotion 112

Damasio's Somatic-Marker Hypothesis 116

The Somatic-Marker Hypothesis 118

The Limbic System Debate 120

Challenges to Cognitive Appraisals Seen as an Inherent Part of Emotions 122

Conclusion 126

References 127

7 The Self in Neuroscience and Social Psychology 129

Different Aspects of Self 129

The Brain Processes Behind the Social Self 140

The Recent Search for Dedicated Brain Areas Underlying the Self 142

Brain Areas Creating Self According to Zimmer 144

Epilogue About the Fragility of Self 154

References 154

8 Consciousness, Quale, and Subjective Experience 157

What is Quale? 158

Thought, Sensations, and Mind 160

Positions on the Connection Between Consciousness and Qualia 163

Summary and Conclusions 167

References 168

9 The Place of Imitation in Social Life and Its Anatomical Brain Supports 171

Imitation and Mirror Neurons Reviewed 172

The Scope of Imitation 173

Cognitive Psychology and Imitation 174

Brain Areas Involved in Imitation 176

Imitation and Social Theory 177

Conclusion 178

References 178

10 Determinism and Free Will 181

Libet: Our Bodies Do What We Want to Do Before We Know We Want It 181

Initial Evidence from Electrical Stimulation 183

Daniel Dennett's Defense of Free Will 184

Daniel Wegner on the Illusion of Free Will 186

The Controversy of Mind over Matter: A different Avenue for Establishing Agency 189

G.H. Mead's Concept of Emergence 189

On the Qualitative Difference Between Mind and Matter 190

Minded Distance as a Lever for Control in Therapeutic Practices 192

Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force 193

The Tale of the Silver Springs Monkeys 193

Nursing the Self Back into the Driver's Seat in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 195

Changing the Circuits of the Brain in Depression 198

Conclusion 199

References 201

11 Conclusion 203

The Social Nature of the Brain 203

Neuroscience and Epistemology 204

The Neurological Supports for the Chicago Pragmatist Priority of Action 205

A Transactional View of the Brain/Environment Relationship 206

Emergence as a Way out of Reductionism 206

The Two Most Challenging Problems for Brain Science 207

The Seamy Side of Self 207

References 209

Subject Index 211

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