The Culture and Biology Initiative
What is it?
Is an effort to advance the emerging field of culture and biology interplay, that centers on how these two processes have evolved together in humans and animals, how they influence each other, and how this relationship shapes behavior and cognition.
What are its goals?
1. To bridge culture and biology, two domains that are often studied in isolation,
2. To improve our understanding of the joint role of cultural and biological processes on behavior and cognition,
3. To foster new questions, methods, and solutions to social problems, and
4. To encourage cross-pollination among scientific fields, transforming a multidisciplinary endeavor into an interdisciplinary science.
What are its themes?
1. Animal Culture: focuses on how animals learn and transmit knowledge from one generation to the next, build niches, and change their environments (Laland, 2008).
2. Cultural development and transmission: the study of the mechanisms by which behavior and information shared by community members is acquired and transferred from one generation to the next.
3. Cultural genomics: centers on the examination of the multiple ways in which cultural experiences affect, are influenced, and work together with genes to shape development and well-being.
4. Cultural neuroscience: the inquiry of cultural variation at the psychological and neural levels aimed to articulate their mutual relationships and emergent properties (Chiao & Ambady, 2007).
5. Neurobiology of cultural experiences: the exploration of how cultural, ethnic, and racial experiences have repercussions in limbic systems, neuroendocrine functioning, and epigenesis (Chae et al., 2014).
What are its projects?
1. Wiley's Handbook of Culture and Biology (to appear in 2017)
2. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology's special section on Culture and Biology Interplay (to appear in 2016)
3. The Culture and Biology Interplay seminar