The Encultured Brain: Building Interdisciplinary Collaborations for the Future of Neuroanthropology.
8 October 2009
University of Notre Dame

McKenna Hall
South Bend, Indiana

Click here to register.

Click here to register.

UPDATE: We had a wonderful day yesterday. The keynotes by Harvey Whitehouse and Patricia Greenfield were excellent, the speed presentations came off very well, and we made a lot of connections. A great conference.

You can now access the conference statement The Encultured Brain: Why Neuroanthropology? Why Now?.

The conference starts at 9AM on Thursday October 8th. The first talk will be by Daniel Lende on “Neuroscience and the Real World.” That will be followed by one set of speed presentations.

The first keynote “Mirror Neurons and the Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Cultural Processes” by Patricia Greenfield will start at 11AM.

The second keynote “Explaining Religion” by Harvey Whitehouse will begin at 3:00 PM.

There will be a methods roundtable at 1:45PM, and a second set of speed presentations at 4:35PM. Greg Downey will close the conference with his talk “A Brain-Shaped Culture” at 5:25PM.

Please click here for the FULL SCHEDULE, including the titles for all the speed presentations and more information on the keynotes.

This conference will promote neuroanthropology, which aims to integrate anthropology, social theory, and the brain sciences. As the first conference exclusively in this area, The Encultured Brain will provide a vision for the future of this line of integrative research, sparking conversations and establishing connections across disciplinary boundaries.

Confirmed keynote presenters:
Prof. Patricia Greenfield
Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UCLA
Former Director of the FPR-UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development
Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles (CDMCLA)

Prof. Harvey Whitehouse
Head of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at Oxford
Head of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA)
Director of the Centre for Anthropology and Mind (CAM)

You can find the CONFERENCE SCHEDULE HERE and the abstracts for these keynotes and the opening and closing addresses here.

Conference supported by: the Lemelson/Society for Psychological Anthropology Conference Fund, made possible by a generous gift from The Robert Lemelson Foundation; and by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Office of Research, the Kellogg Institute, and the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame, and the Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University.

Click for the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT AND MORE DETAILS ON SUBMISSONS AND REGISTRATION. You can also see our approach to speed presentations for the Encultured Brain conference.

Please email any questions or inquiries to:


Past Conferences was very happy to convene a panel, The Encultured Brain: Neuroanthropology and Interdisciplinary Engagement, at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropology Association in San Francisco. The double session demonstrated that anthropology can creatively engage the neurosciences through biological mechanisms, synergistic ethnography, and critique.

We have a number of postings, including profiles of the participants, versions of some of the papers, and a host of other resources scattered throughout our weblog. This page brings those all together to provide a consolidated record of the meeting, which we expect will only be the first of many.

With that in mind, if you would like to explore the session, you may find the following pages of special interest:

Daniel’s two post-conference postings to discuss what happened:
The Encultured Brain – Part One on the San Francisco AAA Conference
The Encultured Brain – Part Two on the San Francisco AAA Conference

The brief description of the panel:
The Encultured Brain at the AAAs
The long version (will download as a Word document):
Encultured Brain AAA proposal

And from waaaaay back in March, the original announcement we posted for the panel:
Neuroanthropology Session at the AAA Conference

Profiles of participants
Ryan Brown and Cultural Psychophysiology
Rebecca Seligman and the Cultural Neuroscience of Dissociation
Rachel Brezis, Autism and Neuroanthropology
Peter Stromberg, Smoking and Entrainment
Agustin Fuentes and Niche Construction
Katherine MacKinnon, Capuchins, and People
Christina Toren, Our Intersubjective Relations, and Ethnography
Cameron Hay, Healing and Memory
Hal Odden, Theory of Mind, and Human Development
Greg Downey and the Synergy of Sport
Daniel Lende, Ethnography and Addiction
Naomi Quinn, Robert Sapolsky and Claudia Strauss: Our Discussants

Daniel discussed the panel (and a lot of other things) in an interview with Scientific American. We posted on it, Daniel interviewed at Scientific American, or you can just go over to the original piece at SA, Getting Hooked on Sin.

Greg went ahead and posted his paper, complete with graphics, after he gave it:
Balance between cultures: equilibrium training

If you want to know more about this panel, or our future plans for conferences, please contact us:
Greg Downey gdowney @
Daniel Lende dlende @

24 thoughts on “Conferences

  1. I am developing a project on the psychocultural dimensions of “boredom” in religious ritual. Anyone with a similar interest? Do contact me: Charles W. Nuckolls, Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84604.

    • Charles,

      In Peter Stromberg’s new book(2009) “Caught in play”, he looks at the role of boredom in play activities. And play, it turns out, does not look so very different from religious rituals. You might want to look at Peter’s book if you have not already done so.


  2. Pingback: Months of the Year: Neuroanthropology 2008 « Neuroanthropology

  3. I will be happy to receive invitation to giving a paper on the social and cultural factors in social violence in contemporary ” traditional societies “.

    Mohamed Abdo Mahgoub
    Professor of anthropology
    Alexandria University- Egypt

    • Mohamed Abdo Mahgoub
      Professor of anthropology
      Alexandria University- Egypt

      Dear Professor

      I am in treseted to have dialogues on my the recently posted lines/comments on Rituals and Genes! If possible pl do read my comments.

  4. Pingback: Encultured Brain Conference – Official Announcement and Submission Process « Neuroanthropology

  5. Pingback: Encultured Brain: Preliminary Schedule and One Week Left for Abstract Submissions « Neuroanthropology

  6. Pingback: Encultured Brain Keynotes and Opening and Closing Addresses: The Abstracts « Neuroanthropology

  7. Pingback: Last Day for Abstracts « Neuroanthropology

    • Hi Jim —
      We probably won’t be able to stream the whole thing, but we will be filming and posting at least the four talks and then finding ways for our other participants’ work to also be shared, if they choose to do so. In addition, we’re working toward an edited volume, so you’ll have to be a little bit patient, but we plan to put out lots of good stuff to result from this. We very much want to share what we’re up to, and to provide a platform for additional discussion and connections among other researchers.

  8. Where do we submit our interest in the conference and its results as to be able to join in? I am unfortunately not able to be present.

  9. Pingback: The Encultured Brain – Final Schedule « Neuroanthropology

  10. Pingback: Thoughts on conference organizing « Neuroanthropology

  11. Pingback: Thoughts on conference organizing « Culture Matters

  12. I am a student of Anthropology at heart and this is profound and awesome work that your organization is doing. I definitely want to be a part in furthering these understandings between mental health and culture. My blog and research will be examining the culture of self-injury in the United States and looking at how that links to Victor Turner’s perspectives on the liminal state that occurs in ritual.

    Please feel free to check it out and offer your insight:

  13. Pingback: Graduate Student Pecha Kucha Session @ New Orleans « Neuroanthropology

  14. Pingback: Videos from The Encultured Brain – NOW AVAILABLE! « Neuroanthropology

  15. I’m interested in the PhD in neuroanthropology, more in education distance (on line) format. My particular motivation is paleoneurology and cognitive component of hominization process.

  16. I am looking for the Post Doctoral work in neuroanthropology or Medical Anthropology. Presently I am egar to learn about the Neuroanthropology: projects exploring the Neurons ,Ritualsand Genes! It seems that The trajectory from Rituals to Genes, which the end reuslts which we attribute in the Organic Body. But can we think how do these genes germinates? Obisoivously fro the extrenal stimulation of the Body neurons. Our Brains Cell get their their Shape from the Interation of the People which give the shape to the Growing mind-infants/child ect. These Culutral aspects: whose domain is very wide across the diffrent cultures nad Must be examined how do prevailing ritulas/ shape the neuronswhich inturns through the complex process make the Entire cultutres.

    In short: Genes are the End Product being localised in the in the Body, but the precuresours are the “Ritual” sahping the Body.! Where do “Genes” go ? In the Air or they be the the Part of the Air or the enviornment.

    I look forward to sahare the thoughts on these lines. Feel free to comments.

  17. Pingback: Neuron Culture Gets Wired – and Gets into a Neurocultural Funk! | Neuroanthropology

  18. Hi… This s Dikshitha B.E 3rd year student… electronics and communication branch..wanna get some information for my final year project ..this s all about brain mapping and image processing…Pleas i really need a help from u so that it can be done in a best way possible…..I just don wan it to b a project for aggregate but something useful…so pleas do get me some information regarding this…hoping for your reply as soon as possible…

  19. Pingback: The Neuroanthropology of Embodiment, Absorption, and Dissociation | Somatosphere

  20. Pingback: New Book “The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology” « Cultural Neuroscience

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