Biology of cultural conflict

A new 'Theme Issue' of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences is available online: 'The biology of cultural conflict' compiled and edited by Gregory S. Berns and Scott Atran:

"Although culture is usually thought of as the collection of knowledge and traditions that are transmitted outside of biology, evidence continues to accumulate showing how biology and culture are inseparably intertwined. Cultural conflict will occur when the beliefs and traditions of one cultural group represent a challenge to individuals of another. Such a challenge will elicit brain processes involved in cognitive decision-making, emotional activation and physiological arousal associated with the outbreak, conduct and resolution of conflict. Recent advances in neuroscience are showing how cultural differences in brain processing may contribute to conflict. Papers in this special issue describe a range of cultural differences in brain processing of reward, politics, race, ethnicity, and moral values. Future cultural wars, while they may bear familiar labels of religion and politics, will ultimately be fought over control of our biology and our environment."

Here is the table content:






Gregory S. Berns and Scott Atran: The biology of cultural conflict


Michael D. Dodd, Amanda Balzer, Carly M. Jacobs, Michael W. Gruszczynski, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing: The political left rolls with the good and the political right confronts the bad: connecting physiology and cognition to preferences

Bokyung Kim, Young Shin Sung, and Samuel M. McClure: The neural basis of cultural differences in delay discounting

Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd, and Peter J. Richerson: The puzzle of monogamous marriage

Melissa M. McDonald, Carlos David Navarrete, and Mark Van Vugt: Evolution and the psychology of intergroup conflict: the male warrior hypothesis

Scott A. Huettel and Rachel E. Kranton: Identity economics and the brain: uncovering the mechanisms of social conflict

Michele Gelfand, Garriy Shteynberg, Tiane Lee, Janetta Lun, Sarah Lyons, Chris Bell, Joan Y. Chiao, C. Bayan Bruss, May Al Dabbagh, Zeynep Aycan, Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Latif, Munqith Dagher, Hilal Khashan, and Nazar Soomro: The cultural contagion of conflict

Kenneth T. Kishida, Dongni Yang, Karen Hunter Quartz, Steven R. Quartz, and P. Read Montague: Implicit signals in small group settings and their impact on the expression of cognitive capacity and associated brain responses

Emile G. Bruneau, Nicholas Dufour, and Rebecca Saxe: Social cognition in members of conflict groups: behavioural and neural responses in Arabs, Israelis and South Americans to each other's misfortunes

Emily B. Falk, Robert P. Spunt, and Matthew D. Lieberman: Ascribing beliefs to ingroup and outgroup political candidates: neural correlates of perspective-taking, issue importance and days until the election

Damian A. Stanley, Peter Sokol-Hessner, Dominic S. Fareri, Michael T. Perino, Mauricio R. Delgado, Mahzarin R. Banaji, and Elizabeth A. Phelps: Race and reputation: perceived racial group trustworthiness influences the neural correlates of trust decisions

Gregory S. Berns, Emily Bell, C. Monica Capra, Michael J. Prietula, Sara Moore, Brittany Anderson, Jeremy Ginges, and Scott Atran: The price of your soul: neural evidence for the non-utilitarian representation of sacred values


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