Culture, Neurobiology, and Human Behavior: New Perspectives in Anthropology

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Sarto-Jackson, Isabella; Larson, Daniel O.; Callebaut, Werner
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preprint description
Our primary goal in this article is to discuss the cross-talk between biological and cultural factors that become manifested in the individual brain development, neural wiring, neurochemical homeostasis, and behavior. We will show that behavioral propensities are the product of both cultural and biological factors and an understanding of these interactive processes can provide deep insights into why people behave the way they do. This interdisciplinary perspective is offered in an effort to generate dialog and empirical work among scholars interested in merging aspects of anthropology and neuroscience, and anticipates that biological and cultural anthropology converge. We discuss new theoretical developments, hypothesis-testing strategies, and cross-disciplinary methods of observation and data collection. We believe that the exigency of integrating anthropology and the neurosciences is indisputable and anthropology's role in an emerging interdisciplinary science of human behavior will be critical because its focus is, and has always been, on human biological and cultural systems.