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GUEST SERVICES



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Anthropology Colloquium

Empathy and Neuroimaging Studies: The Limits of Representation and Interpretation

featuring George Mentore

Date: Friday, November 30, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Building: Dinwiddie Hall in Room 102
Location: uptown campus

In considering some recent neuroscientific studies on empathy and pain, this essay considers why anthropological concepts should be taken far more seriously when it comes to representing and interpreting the realities of human experience.  In the specific case of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for empathetic pain, it argues that we have first to recognize and accept the limits to the representation of reality before proceeding to any interpretative generalizations.  The principal critique settles upon the relative truth claims implicit to the applied functionalist and game theories of these neuroscience studies.  These claims, it is argued, rely upon a tenacious cultural belief about being able to traverse the interval between embodied experience and its representation which, nevertheless, leaves intact the distinction between the real and the representation of the real.  This essay thus seeks to address the anthropological question on what kinds of meanings and predetermined values get carried over into the made representations of presence as pain and, additionally, it inquires why the neuroscientists -- for so serious and significant a series of study on suffering -- pay such little attention to the influences of wider social realities?  Other familiar and relevant topics about nature and culture, sex and violence, fairness and inequality, universality and relativity are also engaged within the context this critique. [empathy, pain, reality, neuroscience]

Sponsored by: Anthropology DepartmentGraduate Studies Student Association (GSSA)

Admission: Free
Attendance: Open to the public
Open to: Alumni, Faculty, Graduate students, Parents, Prospective undergrads, Staff, Undergraduates, Visitors

Tickets: Not required

For more information contact Tulane Anthropology Student Association via email to tulaneasa@gmail.com






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