Neuroanthropology Public Talk 3/24 in NYC

Artistic BrainI speak next Monday evening in New York City as part of the Anthropology of the Brain panel. Rayna Rapp, professor of anthropology at NYU, will be the other panelist.

We’ll both give 25 minute presentations, followed by a long period of discussion. We’re looking forward to getting a good conversation going with the audience. The panel starts at 7pm on March 24th.

Prof. Rapp will speak on “Big Data, Small Kids” about “how she began tracking one set of scientists in a pediatric neuroscience lab looking at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Learning Disability (LD), and ended up watching the scientists construct international Big Data coalitions as part of a massive undertaking in brain mapping now ongoing across several continents.”

I will speak about “Hooked on the Brain? On Using Neuroscience in Anthropology”, where “Using the case study of addiction, this talk will examine both the promise and peril of such an approach, and demonstrate how effective use of neuroscience requires both synthesis and critique.”

I’m particularly excited about this talk, as I’ll examine the nature/nurture problem and how anthropology helps resolve that problem. I’ll do that through showing how neuroanthropology helps us move through increasingly sophisticated analyses of basic questions. In my case, that is: “What is addiction?”

The panel, which is officially called Culture and the Brain, is presented by the Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences. It will be held at The Wenner-Gren Foundation, which is located at 470 Park Avenue South, between 31st and 32nd Streets.

The Wenner-Gren is located on the 8th floor of the building; you check in at the building’s reception on the ground floor and then head on up. It’s completely free, but you do need to register for the event with the New York Academy of Sciences.

The talks kick off at 7pm; there’s also a reception at 6pm before the panel. That costs $20 and comes complete with a buffet and drinks. The reception is free for students.

Link to Wenner-Gren Culture and the Brain panel description.
Link to registration for the event with the NYAS.

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