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A pioneering and bold effort to construct a bridge between scientific findings about the brain and the diversity, strengths, and fragilities of human cultures. This book helps to 'center' a pendulum that has in recent years swung too far in the direction of biological determinism. -- Howard Gardner, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, author of Multiple Intelligences and Changing Minds The emerging field of social neuroscience receives a tremendous boost from the publication of Bruce Wexler's Brain and Culture. The brain, he argues, does not merely dictate how we respond to changes in the enviornment, but is itself shaped through interaction with the social world. In congent and convincing writing, Wexler argues that social relations, even culture and ideology, involve a neurobiology that can now be explored through the tools of modern neuroscience. Through psychiatric case studies, historical analysis, experiments with various species, and human neuroimaging, he reveals that distinctions between mind and brain, self and enviornment, and individual and culture can no longer be understood in traditional ways. This book is essential for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the connections between the neurological and social worlds. -- Peter Salovey, Chris Argyris Proefessor of Psychology and Dean of Yale College, Yale University There can't be many authors bold enough to speak authoritatively of brain structures, the Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky, and the Albigensian heresy. Wexler demonstrates an impressive intellectual range as he weaves a rich tapestry of the interactions of neuronal systems and the socioculture enviornment in the development of humans' uniquely adaptable brains and minds. -- Steven Rose, The Open University and University College London Bruce Wexler's Brain and Culture is a major achievement, touching the deepest biological and human issues and framing them in verifiable terms. A very powerful and very important book. -- Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Bruce E. Wexler is Professor of Psychiatry at Yale Medical School and Director of the Neurocognitive Research Laboratory at the Connecticut Mental Health Center.
A fascinating step forward in deconstructing the seemingly universal us/them mentality. * Scientific American *