What can cognitive neuroscience do for cultural sociology?

  • Omar LizardoEmail author
  • Brandon Sepulvado
  • Dustin S. Stoltz
  • Marshall A. Taylor
Original Article


Can cognitive neuroscience contribute to cultural sociology? We argue that it can, but to profit from such contributions requires developing coherent positions at the level of ontology and coherent epistemological views concerning interfield relations in science. In this paper, we carve out a coherent position that makes sense for cultural sociology based on Sperber’s “infra-individualist” and Clark’s “extended cognition” arguments. More substantively, we take on three canonical topics in cultural sociology: language, intersubjectivity, and associational links between elements, showing that the cognitive neurosciences can make conceptual and empirical contributions to the thinking of cultural sociologists in these areas. We conclude by outlining the opportunities for further development of work at the intersection of cultural sociology and the cognitive neurosciences.


Neuroscience Sociology Mirror neurons Language Embodiment Binding 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar Lizardo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brandon Sepulvado
    • 2
  • Dustin S. Stoltz
    • 2
  • Marshall A. Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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