By Bruce E. Wexler

Research exhibits that among start and early maturity the mind calls for sensory stimulation to enhance bodily. the character of the stimulation shapes the connections between neurons that create the neuronal networks precious for proposal and behaviour. through altering the cultural atmosphere, every one iteration shapes the brains of the following. by way of early maturity, the neuroplasticity of the mind is vastly lowered, and this results in a basic shift within the courting among the person and the surroundings: throughout the first a part of existence, the mind and brain form themselves to the most important ordinary positive aspects in their surroundings; through early maturity, the person makes an attempt to make the surroundings agree to the tested inner constructions of the mind and brain. In mind and Culture, Bruce Wexler explores the social implications of the shut and altering neurobiological courting among the person and the surroundings, with specific consciousness to the problems members face in maturity while the surroundings adjustments past their skill to take care of the healthy among latest inner constitution and exterior fact. those problems are obvious in bereavement, the assembly of other cultures, the adventure of immigrants (in which little ones of immigrant households are extra winning than their mom and dad on the worthwhile inner transformations), and the phenomenon of interethnic violence. Integrating contemporary neurobiological examine with significant experimental findings in cognitive and developmental psychology -- with illuminating references to psychoanalysis, literature, anthropology, heritage, and politics -- Wexler provides a wealth of element to aid his arguments. The groundbreaking connections he makes enable for reconceptualization of the impact of cultural swap at the mind and supply a brand new organic base from which to contemplate such social matters as "culture wars" and ethnic violence.

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Extra info for Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change (Bradford Books)

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Tea, eat, ate). , team, meat, mate). It is these types of functional units, in which functional properties emerge from the organization and integration of differentiated components, that are particularly important in creating the characteristics that distinguish the human brain from the brains of other animals. The simplest neurofunctional unit to exhibit properties not seen in single neurons is the two-neuron reflex arc. Indeed, Sherrington predicted the existence of distinct neurons that interact on the basis of the discrepancies he observed between the reflexive motor response to electrical stimulation of a sensory nerve and the electrical properties of a single nerve.

In general, these effects result from changes in the balance of activity in deprived and nondeprived sensory pathways. As a result, for example, limiting input to both eyes has less effect on functional organization of the visual system than does limiting input to only one eye. Neurons at each stage of processing compete for connections with the neurons at each subsequent stage, with the neurons that fire more often gaining territory. These effects were investigated systematically in Hubel and Wiesel’s Nobel Prize-winning studies of kittens and monkeys [8].

Looking at a photograph of a person frowning leads to an increase in electrical activity of the viewer’s corrugator muscles, which furrow the brow in a frown [23]. This automatic mimicry of facial displays is one way that we know Background: Some Basic Facts about the Human Brain 35 what those around us are feeling. It also serves to create the perceived emotional state in the viewer. When people deliberately create facial expressions of fear, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, and happiness, changes occur in heart rate and skin temperature that match those that occur when they remember and relive each emotion [24].

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