The Neuroscientific Turn: Transdisciplinarity in the Age of by Melissa M. Littlefield

By Melissa M. Littlefield

The Neuroscientific flip brings jointly 19 students from numerous fields to mirror at the grants of and demanding situations dealing with emergent "neurodisciplines" similar to neuroethics, neuroeconomics, and neurohistory. within the aftermath of the last decade of the mind, neuroscience has turn into one of many most well liked themes of study—not just for scientists but in addition, more and more, for students from the arts and social sciences. whereas the preferred press has concurrently lauded and loathed the arriving "neurorevolution," the academy has but to voice any collective speculations approximately no matter if there's any coherence to this neuroscientific flip; what this flip will and will produce; and what implications it has for inter- or transdisciplinary inquiry.

Melissa M. Littlefield and Jenell M. Johnson offer an preliminary framework for this latest of "turns" through bringing jointly 14 unique essays by means of students from the arts, social sciences, and neurosciences. The ensuing assortment will entice neuroscientists occupied with their colleagues' curiosity of their paintings; students and scholars either in confirmed neurodisciplines and in disciplines resembling sociology or English thinking about approximately tips to follow neuroscience findings to their domestic disciplines; and to technological know-how, know-how, and society students and scholars drawn to the jobs of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity within the building of data.

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In one of the more forward-­looking collaborations included in the collection, Hendrix and May bring together expertise in history and neuroscience to create a neurohistorical account of two mystics, Bernard of Clairvaux (twelfth century) and Teresa of Ávila (sixteenth century). In her essay on intersections between neuroscience and literacy, Gorzelsky argues that a survey of literate practices concerning meditation can reveal new areas for neuroscientific research while simultaneously alerting researchers to areas in which neuroscience can be supplemented by ethnographic analyses.

Because the neuroscientific turn is a relatively recent phenomenon, emer- 20 • Th e N e ur o s c i e n t i fi c T u r n gent neurodisciplines remain, thus far, either connected to their parent disciplines or clustered as neuroscientific subfields. This is to say that few, if any, emergent neurodisciplines have established their own journals or academic societies. Neuroeconomics is a notable exception to this trend, having established the Society for Neuroeconomics in 2010. The remaining neurodisciplines have been addressed in mainstream journals; take, for example, Jordynn Jack and Laurence Appelbaum’s special issue on neurorhetoric that was published in Rhetoric Society Quarterly (2011) or Jeff Pruchnic’s use of the term neurorhetoric in Configurations (2009).

Thanks to Robert Glenn Howard for pointing us to James’s discussion of medical materialism. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, neuroscience was coined in the 1960/70s. A similar response can be found in William Connolly’s “Experience and Experiment” when he advocates for a “new dialogue between advocates of a science of society and those of cultural interpretation. The most promising route, in my judgment, is to forge links between neuroscience—­the observational and experimental study of body-­brain processes—­and phenomenology, understood as the explication of implicit structures of experience that infuse perception, desire, and culture” (2006, 67).

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