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The Social/Neuroscience: Bridging or Polarizing Culture and Biology?

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Neuroscience and Social Science

Abstract

We review contemporary research on self-regulation in experimental psychology and social neuroscience in order to evaluate its conceptual foundations and discuss how theoretical assumptions about the biological dimension of this phenomenon are constructed in the crossfields of psychology and neuroscience. We argue that such a dimension is predominantly understood as a determining factor of behavior itself rooted in life structures and processes, although bearing on a restricted conception of life, characterized by dualistic, individualistic, aprioristic, adaptationistic, and anthropocentric limitations. We discuss these five features of the discursive construction of the biological dimension, building on literature reviews and critical discussions of three case examples. The focus is, first, on self-regulation theoretical models, then on emotion regulation models, and finally on attention regulation. In particular, we identify problems regarding different notions of autonomy widely at play across biological to social sciences. We argue that such a theoretical limitation compromises the link between theories of culture and biology, eventually radicalizing the very gap that the social neurosciences seek to overcome, and polarizing the relationships between biomedical discourses and psychology.

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Haye, A., Morales, R., Niño, S. (2017). The Social/Neuroscience: Bridging or Polarizing Culture and Biology?. In: Ibáñez, A., Sedeño, L., García, A. (eds) Neuroscience and Social Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68421-5_10

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