FPR STAFF

Constance A. Cummings, PhD, Project Director

Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required
Twitter: @thefpr_org

Constance 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 and is currently enrolled in UCLA’s Design Communication Arts (DCS) certificate program.

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

Focused Discussion: Brain Dias (March 2021)

The amount of stress we experience is on a spectrum. Many types of early life stress are risk factors for later psychopathology, including stress related to nutritional environment, immune system functioning (maternal activation), and air pollution. Importantly, age of exposure – critical periods – matters. Cultural differences can also play important roles in terms of whether or not behavior is considered neglect or abuse.

Focused Discussion: Methods (November 13, 2020)

Moderators Hakwan Lau and Shinobu Kitayama share their experiences working at different levels of analysis, collaborating internationally, comparing different populations, using open neurimaging datasets and discuss possibilities for more integrative research.

Owning Our Madness: Honoring Cultural Psychiatrist Frederick Hickling

Dr. Hickling, who died on May 7 “after a sudden illness . . . was a giant in the global movements for deinstitutionalization, community mental health and cultural psychiatry,” according to McGill CMB program co-director Laurence Kirmayer and McGill cultural psychiatrist Jazwant Guzder.