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Glimpses into an Expanding Universe

Francisco Ortega and Fernando Vidal

Neurocultures offers «glimpses» into an expanding universe of knowledge, beliefs and practices characterized by the conviction that human activity is governed by the structure and functioning of the brain. The 1990s were the Decade of the Brain, and the first hundred years of the new millennium have been proclaimed its Century. Described as the most complex of all organs, the brain has become a major icon of contemporary culture. Brain imaging technologies are used in a large number of disciplines, and are increasingly applied in settings of potential social and legal relevance. It is often proclaimed that the neurosciences will bring about major transformations in notions and practices of the human in areas as diverse as spirituality and self-help, marketing, the law, education, or the classification and treatment of mental disease. Neurocultures explores these expectations, their history, their contexts, and the debates they raise, in a broad range of fields, including enhancement, meditation, neuroethics, the «social brain», psychedelic research, psychoanalysis, psychiatric and neurological conditions, and cinema and literature.
Contents: Fernando Vidal/Francisco Ortega: Approaching the Neurocultural Spectrum: An Introduction – Francisco Ortega: Toward a Genealogy of Neuroascesis – John Tresch: Experimental Ethics and the Science of the Meditating Brain – Gesa Lindemann: Neuronal Expressivity: On the Road to a New Naturalness – Eric Racine/Zoë Costa-von Aesch: Neuroscience’s Impact on our Self-Identity: Perspectives from Ethics and Public Understanding – Maurizio Meloni: The Cerebral Subject at the Junction of Naturalism and Antinaturalism – Alain Ehrenberg: The «Social» Brain: An Epistemological Chimera and a Sociological Truth – Nicolas Langlitz: Political Neurotheology: Emergence and Revival of a Psychedelic Alternative to Cosmetic Psychopharmacology – Jurandir Freire Costa: Psychoanalysis and the Cerebral Subject – Simon Cohn: Visualizing Disgust: Subtractions and Assimilations in the Production of Neuroscientific Knowledge – Margaret Lock: Seduced by Plaques and Tangles: Alzheimer’s Disease and the Cerebral Subject – Scott Vrecko: On the Political Economy of the «Gambling Brain» – Cathy Gere: «Nature’s Experiment:» Epilepsy, Localization of Brain Function and the Emergence of the Cerebral Subject – Benilton Bezerra: Looking for Experience in the Brain: Psychoanalysis and the Project of Naturalizing Mind – Susan Aldworth: The Physical Brain and the Sense of Self: An Artists’s Exploration – Robert Zwijnenberg: Brains, Art, and the Humanities – Valeria Gennero: Larger Than Our Biologies: Identity and Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction – Fernando Vidal: Fiction Film and the Cerebral Subject.