Neuroanthropological perspectives on culture, mind, and brain

Daniel H. Lende, Greg Downey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Neuroanthropology is an interdisciplinary approach to studying human variation that integrates brain and cognitive sciences with anthropology and uses theoretically and biologically informed ethnography to examine specific problems at the intersection of brain and culture. This chapter shows how, for instance, the theoretical construct, habitus, can be integrated with accounts of human development and brain enculturation to better understand the internalization of social structures, including how socialization produces both diversity as well as shared outcomes. We also show how ideas from computational neuroscience, such as work on prediction errors and the free energy principle, can augment the understanding of cultural consensus and consonance, or how culture is at once shared and individual. The overarching goal of neuroanthropology is to bolster biocultural exploration of individual enculturation and ground social theory in a more accurate account of individual neurobiology in order to encourage a broader, multidisciplinary study of human cultural variation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture, mind, and brain
Subtitle of host publicationemerging concepts, models, and applications
EditorsLaurence J. Kirmayer, Carol M. Worthman, Shinobu Kitayama, Robert Lemelson, Constance A. Cummings
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781108695374
ISBN (Print)9781108484145
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent Perspectives in Social and Behavioral Sciences
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • neuroanthropology
  • psychological anthropology


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