History

logoThe Foundation for Psychocultural Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation based in Los Angeles, which was was founded in 1999 by Robert B. Lemelson, a documentary filmmaker and psychological anthropologist on the UCLA faculty. The FPR’s scientific advisory board includes internationally recognized leaders in the fields of anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, neurobiology, epidemiology, and public health on the faculty at UCLA and USC.

A key objective of the foundation is to create, nurture, and sustain connections among anthropologists, research and clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, and neuroscientists who are interested in issues of fundamental social and clinical concern and train the next generation of scientists. This is implemented through research and research training programs, as well as a series of workshops, conferences, and publications that allow participants to think across disciplinary boundaries.

Areas of topical focus since 1999 have ranged from the impact of psychologically traumatic experiences and other forms of human suffering, the wide diversity in the experience, expression, and regulation of emotion across cultures, the formative effects of early life experiences, and most recently global mental health and illness, particularly the significance of culture and context in psychosis and autism. The FPR is also a key supporter of the Culture, Brain, and Development (CBD) programs at UCLA (2002–12) and Hampshire College (2002–present), and the Culture, Brain, Development, and Mental Health Program at UCLA (2010–present).

Over the next decade the FPR is in a unique position to make central contributions to our understanding of the interactions between culture, biology, development, and mental health and illness, as well as to the ongoing debate regarding the conceptual integration of rapidly emerging neuroscientific knowledge in our efforts to understand brain and behavior in social and cultural context.