FPR Staff

Constance A. Cummings, PhD, Project Director

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Twitter: @thefpr_org

CMB_Book2_MWConstance A. Cummings is project director of the FPR and the website’s managing editor. In addition to co-organizing FPR workshops and conferences, she is a co-editor of Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health (Cambridge, 2015). She received her AB in Greek and Latin from Brown University and her PhD in theoretical linguistics (syntax) from New York University. She also completed the editing certificate program at the University of Chicago.

She is working on a new edited volume with biocultural anthropologist Carol Worthman, cultural psychologist Shinobu Kitayama, cultural psychiatrist Laurence Kirmayer, and psychological anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Robert Lemelson that focuses on culture, mind, and brain. The idea for this volume emerged from the current view of the brain as networked, dynamic, plastic, and adaptable, which has provided new opportunities for rethinking the role of culture in understanding behavior, addressing variation and conflict, improving education, and ameliorating global health and social challenges. With a firm grounding in anthropology, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, these essays aim to advance understanding of the relationships between culture, mind, and brain by focusing on the best examples of innovative transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary work – ideally testing, illustrating, or challenging existing views or evidence.

Recent Blog Posts

FPR Sex/Gender Conference Summary: Part 3 – What Counts as Adequate Function?

The sex/gender conference succeeded in bringing together people “with different ideas and skills, different ways of thinking, that are actually transforming the field,” observed Carol Worthman, chair of Part 3 (“What’s at Stake?”). The earlier sessions (see Parts 1 and 2) provided us with a better sense of the complexities of sex/gender; we also learned […]

FPR Sex/Gender Conference Summary: Part 2 – What’s Fixed, Changing, Changeable

Part 2 of the FPR-UCLA conference on sex/gender, which was chaired by cultural anthropologist Gilbert Herdt, explored aspects of brain and behavior that are “fixed” by evolution and biology and other aspects that create, reflect, and respond to human social and cultural environments. Speakers in the first session addressed, in Darwin’s phrase, the “entangled bank” […]

FPR Sex/Gender Conference Summary: Part I – Why Now?

Emerging theories in neuroscience – fueled by new technologies in brain imaging and recording along with torrents of new data – offer a profoundly different view of the human brain – part of a “tangled skein” of extended brain-body-behavior networks that are dynamic, plastic, adaptable, and “in constant dialog” with the environment (Rebeiz, Patel, & […]

From Toxins to Culture: How Environment Shapes the Infant Brain (AAAS 2016 Symposium)

AAAS 2016 Annual Meeting / Global Science Engagement Website: https://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2016/webprogram/Session12229.html Sunday, February 14, 2016: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM Prenatal and perinatal environmental factors, from toxins to maternal care and culture, profoundly influence the brains of infants, sometimes resulting in lifelong pathologies. The effects of these factors have only recently been rigorously assessed in humans, and the mechanisms […]