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Exploring the Borderlands of Neuroscience and Social Science

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Neuroscience and Social Science

Abstract

The field of social cognitive affective neuroscience seems to overcome long-standing problems undermining old-fashioned cognitive neuroscience, such as its reductionist approach; its exclusion of affect, body, and culture in the comprehension of mental phenomena; and its propensity toward isolationist models over integrative or multilevel theories. Moreover, in this developing field, centuries-old arguments of incommensurability between natural and human sciences can be reframed as little more than pseudoproblems. The apparent paradigm shift inherent in social cognitive neuroscience entails new conceptual, methodological, metatheoretical, and aesthetic questions. Also, it gives rise to novel problems as it taxes the boundaries with other disciplines. Many of these dynamical tensions among related fields of knowledge, which are often left implicit, continue to change across domains and periods. Here we chart such new borderlands and summarize the contributions comprised in the present book. Neuroscience and Social Science: The Missing Link engages empirical researchers and theorists around the world in an attempt to integrate perspectives from many relevant disciplines, separating real from spurious divides between them and delineating new challenges for future investigation. The volume is organized in four sections. Section A is devoted to neuroscientific research on specific domains of social cognition, ranging from social emotions, negotiation, cooperation, and interpersonal coordination to empathy and morality. Section B focuses on the impact of social neuroscience in specific social spheres, namely, the clinical field, psychotherapeutic settings, and the mass media. Section C encompasses works on the integration of social and neuroscientific insights to approach matters as pressing as poverty, socioeconomic inequality, health, and well-being. Finally, Section D offers philosophical contributions on theoretical, methodological, and even ethical questions arising from such promising interdisciplinary encounter. Through this wide-ranging proposal, the volume promotes novel reflections on a much-needed marriage while opening opportunities for social neuroscience to plunge from the laboratory into the core of social life.

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Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by CONICET, CONICYT/FONDECYT (Regular 1170010), FONCyT-PICT (2012-0412 and 2012-1309), FONDAP (15150012), and the INECO Foundation.

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Ibáñez, A., Sedeño, L., García, A.M. (2017). Exploring the Borderlands of Neuroscience and Social Science. In: Ibáñez, A., Sedeño, L., García, A. (eds) Neuroscience and Social Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68421-5_1

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