top of page
Anthropology and Cognition

Anthropology has characterized itself by an interdisciplinary approach, adopting a comprehensive approach to human societies by combining a biological and social perspective. In this sense, it is necessary to return to this vision for the study of human cognition; Since we will not be able to fully understand cognitive processes if we try to study them as an isolated phenomenon without contextualizing them in a sociocultural environment and as part of an evolutionary process.

In general, Cognitive Anthropology has contributed with its experience of culture as a heuristic concept (Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1952)  and with the techniques and methodological approaches to record behavior in the field in order to elucidate: how cognitive processes can be affected by  cultural  content and variation (D'Andrade, 1995; Harris, 1999; Bender & Beller, 2011). 

In recent decades, trends in cognitive anthropology, on the one hand, have leaned towards the study of how cultural schemata are related to action. This raises questions of perception, emotion, motivation, and how individuals internalize culture during socialization (D'Andrade, 1995). But also, a diversification is observed in the research objectives, theoretical perspectives and explanatory approaches.  

On the other hand, an Anthropology in dialogue with Cognitive Sciences has made it possible to understand human cognitive evolution by providing explanations about the specializations of the human brain (Rilling, 2008; Fuentes, 2015). Within the framework of this dialogue we can mention examples such as: primate and paleoanthropological models to try to understand the evolution of human behavior, social cognition, orientation systems, the cognitive framework within which people of different ethnic affiliations process diseases. like Alzheimer's etc.

Another important field that has integrated Anthropology and Cognitive Sciences is the study of the body. Inheritors of the anthropological tradition, where the first studies on the subject exposed that the different cultural groups build their own cultural practices, representations, meanings and valuations in relation to bodies. For Cognitive Anthropology, bodies are no longer treated only as objects, but corporeality is understood as a constitutive dimension of all sociocultural practice (Csordas, 1990); which in turn impacts various neuronal mechanisms (Campbell & García, 2009). 

Around these themes that have also been of interest to Philosophy, Neurosciences, Psychology and Cognitive Linguistics, Anthropology has taken on the task of incorporating new questions, epistemological, theoretical and methodological elements. 

Members of the Disciplinary Area:

Dra. Diana Platas Neri

Dra. Diana Platas Neri

Responsable del Área

bottom of page