Cultural neuroscience is the study of how cultural values, practices and beliefs shape and are shaped by the mind, brain and genes across multiple timescales. The study of cultural neuroscience bridges theory and methods from anthropology, psychology, neuroscience and genetics. Cultural neuroscientists study cultural variation in mental, neural and genomic processes as a means of articulating the bidirectional relationship of these processes and their emergent properties using a variety of methods. Researchers in cultural neuroscience  are motivated by two fundamentally intriguing, yet still unanswered, questions on the origins of human nature and human diversity: how do cultural traits (e.g., values, beliefs, practices) shape neurobiology (e.g., genetic and neural processes) and behavior and how do neurobiological mechanisms (e.g., genetic and neural processes) facilitate the emergence and transmission of cultural traits?
The idea that complex behavior results from the dynamic interaction of genes and cultural environment is not new; however, cultural neuroscience  represents a novel empirical approach to demonstrating bidirectional interactions between culture and biology by integrating theory and methods from cultural psychology, neuroscience and neurogenetics.
Similar to other interdisciplinary fields such as social neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, affective neuroscience, and neuroanthropology, cultural neuroscience aims to explain a given mental phenomenon in terms of a synergistic product of mental, neural and genetic events. In particular, cultural neuroscience shares common research goals with social neuroscientists examining how neurobiological mechanisms (e.g., mirror neurons), facilitate cultural transmission, (e.g., imitative learning) and neuroanthropologists  examining how embedded culture, as captured by cross-species comparison and ethnography, is related to brain function. Cultural neuroscience also shares intellectual goals with critical neuroscience, a field of inquiry that scrutinizes the social, cultural, economic and political contexts and assumptions that underlie behavioral and brain science research as it is practiced today.
Cultural neuroscience is unique in that it primarily adopts the experimental methods of cultural psychology and models of dual inheritance theory as the means to uncovering how mental, neural and genetic events vary as a function of specific culture traits (e.g., values, practices and beliefs) in some meaningful way. Research in cultural neuroscience has practical relevance to transcultural psychiatry, business  and technology as well as broader implications for global public policy issues such as population health disparities, bioethics, globalization, immigration, interethnic ideology and international relations.
- Affective neuroscience
- Cognitive neuroscience
- Cross-cultural psychiatry
- Cultural psychology
- Dual Inheritance Theory
- Epigenesis (biology)
- Evolutionary anthropology
- Evolutionary neuroscience
- Gene-environment interaction
- Imaging genetics
- Niche construction
- Population genetics
- Social neuroscience
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