Friday, December 30, 2011

Neely Myers - The Neuroanthropology of Embodiment, Absorption, and Dissociation

This intriguing article was posted at Somatosphere - It's actually more of a summary of research and questions from the American Anthropological Association meeting in November.

The Neuroanthropology of Embodiment, Absorption, and Dissociation

Got Absorption? Towards a Neuroanthropology of Play and Ritual

Cross-posted with Neuroanthropology.

On Thursday, Nov. 17th at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Montreal, Canada, I attended a double panel of neuroanthropologists hosted by the Society for Psychological Anthropology. Organized by Christopher Dana Lynn (University of Alabama) and Jeffrey G. Snodgrass (Colorado State University), the panel was entitled “The Neuroanthropology of Embodiment, Absorption, and Dissociation: Research in Ritual, Play, and Entertainment.”

So, I will begin with a warning – this is a pale attempt to summarize the ideas of 12 people plus various discussion questions and theorists mentioned by presenters. With that in mind, let’s get an overview of what happened, which was immensely interesting.

This group of scholars, who call themselves neuroanthropologists, distinguishes themselves from biocultural anthropologists by grounding themselves in rich ethnography, and then using this ethnography to launch dialogues with neuroscience methods in ways that advance both the scientific and anthropological approaches to the study of human adaptation in context.

Read the whole summary.
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