June 17, 2019June 18, 2019June 19, 2019June 20, 2019June 21, 2019
09:00-10:301.      Introduction5. Affective Neuroscience9. Oxytocin & affiliation13. Hallucinations17. Field Methods
KirmayerGendronBartz LuhrmannSnodgrass
11:00-12:302. The Socially Situated Brain6. . Affective Neuroscience10. TBD14. Culture and Theory of Mind18. Field Methods
GoldGendronArmony LuhrmannKohrt
14:00-15:303. Developmental7 Stress & the Brain11. Social Networks15. Hypnosis & SuggestionSocial & Cultural Neurocience in psychiatric
Cognitive NeuroscienceLupienParkinson Raztraining
ChoudhuryKirmayer, Kohrt,
15:30-17:004. The Bayesian Brain8. Social Adversity Lupien12. Social Networks16. meditatonLewis-Fernandez
Ramstead ParkinsonLifshitz

MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2019

Laurence Kirmayer, PhD

Time: Monday, JUNE 17, 9:00–10:30 am

Title: Introduction to Social and Cultural Neuroscience

Abstract: Social and cultural neuroscience has provided new insights into the mechanisms and meanings of human cognition and adaptation. This introduction will outline the workshop and consider the conceptual and methodological challenges of building bridges between the social sciences and neurosciences.  Topics will include: the relevance of social science for neuroscience; implications of 4-E cognitive science for social and cultural neuroscience; ecosocial approaches to studying the brain in health and illness; and strategies for integrating ethnographic methods and neuroscience in global mental health.

Biographical Note: Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and Director of the McGill Global Mental Health Program. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, and Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he conducts research on culturally responsive mental health services, the mental health of Indigenous peoples, and the anthropology of psychiatry. He founded and directs the annual Summer Program and Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry at McGill. He co-edited the volumes, Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives (Cambridge University Press), Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (University of British Columbia Press), Cultural Consultation: Encountering the Other in Mental Health Care (Springer), DSM-5 Handbook for the Cultural Formulation Interview (APPI), and Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience and Global Mental Health (Cambridge). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Social Sciences).

Readings (* = required)

Choudhury, S., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2009). Cultural neuroscience and psychopathology: Prospects for cultural psychiatry. Progress in Brain Research178, 263-283.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). The future of critical neuroscience. In: S. Choudhury & J. Slaby (Eds.) Critical Neuroscience. A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience (pp. 367-383) Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Crafa, D. (2014). What kind of science for psychiatry?. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience8, 435.

*Seligman, R., Choudhury, S., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2015). Locating culture in the brain and in the world: from social categories to the ecology of mind. In: Chiao, J. Y., Li, S. C., & Seligman, R. (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience (pp. 3-20). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ian Gold, PhD

Time: Monday, June 17, 11:00–12:30 pm

Title: The Socially Situated Brain

Abstract: Ian Gold, PhD is Associate Professor of Philosophy & Psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal. He completed a doctorate in Philosophy at Princeton University and did postdoctoral training at the Australian National University in Canberra. From 2000 to 2006, he was on the faculty of the School of Philosophy & Bioethics at Monash University in Melbourne and came to McGill in 2006. His research focuses on the study of delusions, social neuroscience, and on reductionism in psychiatry and neuroscience. He is the author of research articles in journals including:Behavioral and Brain SciencesMind and Language;Consciousness and CognitionCanadian Journal of Psychiatry;World PsychiatryTranscultural PsychiatryPhilosophyPsychiatry, & Psychology; and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. A book on the theory of delusions, Suspicious Minds (Free Press), co-written with his brother Joel Gold, appeared in the summer of 2014.

Readings (*** = required; boldface = recommended)



TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019

Maria Gendron, PhD (presenter); Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD (co-author)

Time: Tuesday, June 18, 9:00–10:30 am

Title: Affective Neuroscience

Abstract: Affective phenomena have traditionally been considered in a separate sphere from cognitive phenomena such as memory, perception, and decision making. This legacy of partitioning the brain into “emotional” circuits that are separate from “cognitive” regions is being actively dismantled with emerging neuroscience research on the network structure and function of the brain. This research has led to several key insights. First, affective phenomena are pervasive due to the core biological task of predictively regulating the body (allostasis) and representing the sensory consequences of that bodily regulation (interoception). Emerging research suggests that the experience of affective qualities (pleasure, displeasure) is a low-dimensional representation of these processes in consciousness. Second, emotional experiences and perceptions also involve a set of regions that implement conceptual processing, which serve to bring online past experience to guide actions and give sensations meaning. This finding suggests that affective neuroscience must be fused with cognitive neuroscience to make progress on understanding the nature of affect and emotion. A third, and final insight, is that diversity in emotional phenomena, across individuals and societies, may be unpacked by considering how the conceptual system guides the implementation of allostasis in a manner that is tuned to the demands and opportunities of an individual’s ecological, social and developmental niche. As a consequence, the entry point for measurement of affective and emotional phenomena in neuroscience research will be enhanced by considering conceptual frameworks for affect and emotion within a given (cultural) context.

Biographical Notes:  

Maria Gendron, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Dr. Gendron is a Social Psychologist by training. She completed her doctorate at Boston College in 2013 with Lisa Feldman Barrett, where she conducted research on emotion perception in laboratory studies, patients with neurodegenerative disorders, and in small-scale societies. Her research focused on the role of conceptual knowledge, anchored in language, in the perceptual representation of and inferences about emotional cues (facial movements, vocalizations). During her post-doctoral work, supported by a NIMH fellowship, Dr. Gendron expanded her training to affective neuroscience and its integration with cultural psychology. Ongoing work aims to integrate affective neuroscience approaches with the study of individual and cultural diversity in emotional phenomena, including through fieldwork in a small-scale societal contexts and in laboratory research in industrialized, globalized societies.

Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, is a University Distinguished Professor of psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in psychiatry and radiology. Dr. Barrett’s research focuses on the nature of emotion from the perspectives of both psychology and neuroscience, and takes inspiration from anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics. Her lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, and incorporates methods from social, clinical, and personality psychology, psychophysiology, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, and visual cognition. Current projects focus on understanding the psychological construction of emotion (i.e., how basic affective and conceptual ingredients provide the recipes for emotional experiences), age- and disease-related changes in affective circuitry within the human brain, how language and context influence emotion perception, how affect influences vision, and sex differences in emotion. Dr. Barrett received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her research on emotion in the brain, and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada and has been named president-elect for the Association of Psychological Science.

Readings (* = required)

Adolphs, R. (2017). How should neuroscience study emotions? By distinguishing emotion states, concepts, and experiences. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience12(1), 24-31.

Atzil, S., Gao, W., Fradkin, I., & Barrett, L. F. (in press). Growing a social brain. Nature Human Behavior. [draft forthcoming, upon availability]

* Barrett, L. F. (2017). The theory of constructed emotion: an active inference account of interoception and categorization. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience12(11), 1833.

*Barrett, L. F. & Satpute, A. B. (2017). Historical pitfalls and new directions in the neuroscience of emotion. Neuroscience Letters. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.07.045

Brooks, J.A., Shablack, H., Gendron, M., Satpute, A.B., Parrish, M.J., & Lindquist, K.A. (2017). The role of language in the experience and perception of emotion: A neuroimaging meta-analysis. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12, 169-183.Critchley, H. D., & Garfinkel, S. N. (2017). Interoception and emotion. Current opinion in psychology, 17, 7-14.

Kleckner, I. R., Zhang, J., Touroutoglou, A., Chanes, L., Xia, Chengie, Simmons, W. K., Quigley, K.S., Dickerson, B. C., & Barrett, L. F. (2017). Evidence for a large-scale brain system supporting allostasis and interoception in humans. Nature Human Behavior, 1,0069.

Ledoux, J. E., & Brown, R. (2017). A higher-order theory of emotional consciousness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America114(10), E2016-E2025.

Somerville, L. H. (2016). Emotional development in adolescence. In Handbook of Emotion, 4th Edition (Barrett, Lewis, & Haviland-Jones, Eds.).

Jennifer Bartz, PhD

Time: Tuesday, June 18, 11:00–12:30 pm

Title: Oxytocin and the Neuroscience of Afflication

Abstract: The field of social neuroscience has led to important insights about the biological basis of several social psychological processes (e.g., cooperation, empathy, prejudice). To date, work has largely employed imaging techniques to identify the brain regions/circuits involved in social cognition and behavior. Another important but less studied question concerns the neurochemical bases of social psychological processes. Neuromodulators (e.g., serotonin, oxytocin) alter nerve impulse transmission and allow for neuronal communication; because they diffuse through large areas of the brain, neuromodulators can impact the activity of diverse populations of neurons and have fairly widespread effects on the brain’s inherent functioning. Ultimately, these signaling molecules are thought to set in motion processes that facilitate the organism’s ability to respond adaptively to the demands of the current context.

In this presentation, I will focus on the role of the hormone and neuromodulator oxytocin, which, over the last 15 years, has emerged as a key variable in the regulation of human social cognition and behavior. Although popularly dubbed the “love hormone” empirical work reveals that the social effects of oxytocin are often nuanced—sometimes facilitating prosocial cognition and behavior, but at other times, or for other individuals, producing null and even “anti-social” effects. In fact, such variability may offer clues about the more basic mechanisms by which oxytocin modulates human sociality. One hypothesis that will be discussed is that oxytocin may alter specific motivational and/or perceptual states that make social cues more salient. Appreciating oxytocin’s nuanced social effects is important for i) advancing our understanding of the neuroscience and psychology of affiliation, and ii) researchers considering oxytocin as a therapeutic for disorders marked by impaired social functioning.

Biographical Note:Professor Bartz is an international leader in the study of the biological bases of prosocial behaviour (e.g., cooperation, trust, empathy). Her research on the effects of the neurohormone oxytocin revealed its powerful role in promoting co-operation, empathy and affiliation, but also – for certain individuals in certain situations – contributing to insecure attachment, personality disorders, and even domestic violence.  Her award-winning work advances a nuanced understanding of the profound links between brain and social behaviour. She has published her research in such top-tier journals as PNAS, Psychological Science and Current Biology, as well as such top tier specialty journals as Biological Psychiatry, International Journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

List of 6-7 readings, with 2-3 marked as required

Required Readings

**Ross, H. E., & Young, L. J. (2009). Oxytocin and the neural mechanisms

regulating social cognition and affiliative behavior. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 30(4), 534-547. A clearly written and relatively comprehensive review for readers who wish to expand their knowledge on oxytocin and affiliation in non-human animals.

**Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin

increases trust in humans. Nature, 435(7042), 673-676. doi: 10.1038/nature03701

**Bartz, J. A., Zaki, J., Bolger, N., & Ochsner, K. N. (2011). Social effects of oxytocin in humans: context and person matter. Trends Cogn Sci, 15(7), 301-309. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.05.002

Additional Recommended Readings

Carter, C. S. (1998). Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love.

Psychoneuroendocrinology, 23(8), 779-818, AND Insel, T. R., & Young, L. J. (2001). The neurobiology of attachment. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2(2), 129-136. Two historical classics that raised attention about the role of oxytocin in attachment.

Carter, C. S. (2014). Oxytocin pathways and the evolution of human behavior.

Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 17-39. A thorough, far-reaching theoretical analysis of oxytocin and human behavior.

Landgraf, R., & Neumann, I. D. (2004). Vasopressin and oxytocin release within the

brain: a dynamic concept of multiple and variable modes of neuropeptide communication. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 25(3-4), 150-176. A comprehensive review for readers who wish to expand their knowledge on oxytocin release within the brain.

Marlin, B. J., Mitre, M., D’Amour J, A., Chao, M. V., & Froemke, R. C. (2015). Oxytocin enables maternal behaviour by balancing cortical inhibition. Nature, 520(7548), 499-504. doi: 10.1038/nature14402. An elegant illustration of the social salience hypothesis in non-human animals.

Heinrichs, M., von Dawans, B., & Domes, G. (2009). Oxytocin, vasopressin, and

human social behavior. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 30(4), 548-557. A clearly written, relatively comprehensive review for readers who wish to expand their knowledge on oxytocin and affiliation in humans.


Samuel Veissière, PhD

Time: Tuesday, August 14, 3:30–5:00 pm

Title: Cultural Affordances

Abstract: The processes underwriting the acquisition of culture remain unclear. How are habits and norms learned and maintained with precision and reliability across large-scale sociocultural ensembles? Is there a unifying account of the mechanisms involved in the acquisition of culture? Notions such as ‘shared expectations’, the ‘selective patterning of attention and behaviour’ and ‘situated learning’ are the main candidates to underpin a unifying account of cognition and the acquisition of culture; however, their interactions require greater specification and clarification. In this talk, I report on our current work that aims to integrate these candidates using the variational (free energy) approach to human cognition and culture in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that human agents may learn shared expectations through the selective patterning of attention by the developmental construction of sociocultural niches that afford epistemic resources (i.e., cultural affordances). We call this process “Thinking through Other Minds” (TTOM) – in effect, the process of inferring other’s expectations via ecologically specified, sensorimotor interactions. The integrative model has implications that may advance theories of enculturation, adaptation, and psychopathology.

Biographical Note: An anthropologist and cognitive scientist by training, Samuel Veissière is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Associate member in the Department of Anthropology, and co-director of the Culture, Mind, and Brain program at McGill University. He specializes in social and cultural dimensions of cognition, attention, and mental health from evolutionary and ecological (niche construction) perspectives. His current research spans various topics from cultural factors in hypnosis, suggestion, and placebo therapeutics, hyper-sociality in smartphone addiction, variational (free-energy) approaches to the evolution of cognition and culture, and agent-based modeling of joint-intentionality and complex social processes.

Readings: (* = required)

* Ramstead, M. J., Veissière, S. P., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2016). Cultural affordances: scaffolding local worlds through shared intentionality and regimes of attention. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1090.

* Veissiere, S., Constant, A., Ramstead, M,, Frsiton, K., Kirmayer, L. (in review) Thinking Through Other Minds: A Variational Approach to Cognition and Culture. Behavioural and Brain Sciences.

*  Kirmayer, L. J. (2018). Ontologies of life: From thermodynamics to teleonomics. Physics of life reviews, 24, 29-31*.

*  Veissière, S. (2018). Cultural Markov blankets? Mind the other minds gap!. Physics of life reviews, 24, 47-49.

Constant, A., Ramstead, M. J., Veissiere, S. P., Campbell, J. O., & Friston, K. J. (2018). A variational approach to niche construction. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 15(141), 20170685.

Veissière, S. & Stendel, M. (2018). Hypernatural Monitoring: a Social Rehearsal Account of Smartphone Addiction. Front. Psychol. (Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology) doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00141

Kirmayer, L.J., Gomez-Carrillo, A., Veissière, S. (2017) Culture and depression in global mental health: An ecosocial approach to the phenomenology of psychiatric disorders, Social Science & Medicine doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.04.034.

Veissière, S. (2016) ‘Varieties of Tulpa Experiences: The Hypnotic Nature of Human Sociality, Personhood, and Interphenomenality’. In. Amir Raz and Michael Lifshitz (eds) Hypnosis and meditation: Towards an integrative science of conscious planes. Oxford University Press.


Marie-France Marin, PhD

Time: Wednesday, August 16, 9:00–10:30 am

Title: Stress and the Brain: The Role of Individual Differences

Abstract: This presentation aims to provide an overview of stress and its impact on human brain and cognitive functions. We will first review the determinants of stress, its definition, as well as the distinction between acute and chronic stress. The brain regions that are rich in stress hormone receptors will be explored and from there, the impact of stress of cognitive functions will be covered. We will then turn our attention on the various factors that could influence stress perception and stress reactivity. Individual factors and societal factors that should be taken into account when studying the impact of stress on the brain will be examined.

Biographical Note: Dr. Marin obtained her doctoral degree in neurological sciences from the Université de Montréal in 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Sonia Lupien. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, where she gained considerable experience on neuroimaging while working with individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders.

She is now a researcher at the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and she also holds an assistant research-professor position in the Department of Psychiatry at Université de Montréal. Dr. Marin studies the impact of stress on traumatic memories and she is also interested in understanding how fears could be transmitted from parents to children. She has won multiple excellence scholarships and knowledge transfer awards. She is a scientific member of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress.

Readings (* = required)

*Kudielka BM, Hellhammer DH, Wüst S (2009). Why do we respond so differently? Reviewing determinants of human salivary cortisol responses to challenge. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(1), 2‑18.

Kudielka BM, Kirschbaum C (2005). Sex differences in HPA axis responses to stress: a review. Biological Psychology, 69(1), 113‑132.

*Lupien SJ, King S, Meaney MJ, Mcewen BS (2001). Can poverty get under your skin? Basal cortisol levels and cognitive function in children from low and high socioeconomic status. Development and Psychopathology, 13(3), 653‑676.

Lupien SJ, Fiocco A, Wan N, Maheu F, Lord C, Schramek T, Tu MT (2005). Stress hormones and human memory function across the lifespan. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 30(3), 225‑242.

Marin MF, Lord C, Andrews J, Juster RP, Sindi S, Arsenault-Lapierre G, Fiocco AJ, Lupien SJ (2011). Chronic stress, cognitive functioning and mental health. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 96(4), 583‑595.

Raymond C, Marin MF, Majeur D, Lupien SJ (2018). Early child adversity and psychopathology in adulthood: HPA axis and cognitive dysregulations as potential mechanisms. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 85,152-160.

Michael Meaney, PhD

Time: Wednesday, August 15, 11:00–12:30 pm

Title: Epigenetics & Developmental Psychopathology

Abstract: Epigenetics refers to a collection of molecular modifications to the chromatin environment that regulate the probability of gene expression. Epigenetic signals, especially the more stable modifications, such as DNA methylation, are implicated in cell differentiation. However, a portion of the epigenome remains “plastic” and is sensitive to environmental regulation, thus producing stable individual differences in cell function and health outcomes. Epigenetic variation at such sites strongly reflects G x E interactions and may thus serve as an interesting class of biomarkers reflecting both experience and genetic predispositions. This lecture will explore the implications for social psychiatry and mental health. Emphasis will be placed on the limitations of the current state of knowledge, especially with respect to the issue of inter-generational transmission.

Biographical Note: Meaney was trained in Child Clinical Psychology (Concordia University) as well as Molecular Neuroscience (The Rockefeller University). His research interest is that of the stable effects of early experience on gene expression and brain development and function, focusing on the influence of variations in maternal care. Over the past 10 years he has been actively developing translational research models in the context of birth cohort studies. Together these studies led to the discovery of novel epigenetic mechanisms for the influence of early experience and their implications for understanding the origins of resilience and susceptibility in children. This program now emphasizes informatic approaches with genomic and epigenomic data to examine the origins of individual differences in the risk for psychopathology.

Readings (* = required)

*Teh AL, Pan H, Chen L, Ong ML, Dogra S, Wong J, Macisaac JL, Mah SM, McEwen LM, Saw SM, Godfrey KM, Chong YS, Kwek K, Kwoh CK, Soh SE, Chong M, Barton S, Karnani N, Cheong CY, Buschdorf JP, Stunkel W, Kobor MS, Meaney MJ, Gluckman PD, Holbrook JD. (2014). The effect of genotype and in utero environment on inter-individual variation in neonate DNA methylomes. Genome Research 24:1064-1074.

*Meaney MJ, Ferguson-Smith A. (2010) Epigenomic regulation of the neural transcriptome: The meaning of the marks. Nature Neuroscience 13:1313-1318.


*Zhang TY, Meaney MJ. (2010) Epigenetics and the environmental regulation of the genome and its function. Annual Reviews of Psychology 61:439-466.


O’Donnell KJ, Chen L, MacIsaac JL, McEwen LM, Nguyen T, Beckmann K, Zhu Y, Chen LM, Brooks-Gunn J, Goldman D, Grigorenko EL, Leckman JF, Diorio J, Karnani N, Olds DL, Holbrook JD, Kobor MS, Meaney MJ (2018) DNA methylome variation in a perinatal nurse-visitation program that reduces child maltreatment: a 27-year follow-up. Transl Psychiatry 8:e15.

O’Donnell KJ, Meaney MJ (2017) Fetal origins of mental health: The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Hypothesis. American Journal of Psychiatry 174:319-328.

Qiu A, Shen M, Buss C, Kwek K, Saw S-M, Chong Y-S, Gluckman PD, Wadhwa PD, Entringer S, Stner M, Gilmore JH, Karani N, Heim CM, O’Donnell KJ, Holbrook JD, Fortier MV, Meaney MJ and the GUSTO study Group (2017) Effects of antenatal maternal depressive symptoms and socio-economic status on neonatal brain development are modulated by genetic risk. Cerebral Cortex 27:3080-3092.

Yehuda R, Daskalakis NP, Lehrner A, Desarnaud F, Bader HN, Makotkine J, Flory JD, Bierer LM, Meaney MJ. (2014) Influences of maternal and paternal PTSD on epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene in Holocaust survivor offspring. American Journal of Psychiatry 171:872-880.


Amir Raz, PhD

Time: Thursday, August 17, 9:00–10:30 am

Title: Much Ado About Something: The Fascinating Story of Hypnosis and Placebo Science

Abstract: What’s the relationship between hypnosis and placebo?  After all, both seem to draw on top-down control fueled by expectation and suggestion.  Why do red placebos stimulate whereas blue placebos calm?  Why do more placebos work better than few?  And why do more expensive placebos work better than cheaper ones?  These are some of the key questions that often come to mind when we consider the slippery and counterintuitive field of symbolic thinking.  Research with the living human brain unravels some of the mysteries so key to the field of ‘hypnobo’ – hypnosis and placebo.

Biographical Note: Professor Amir Raz, Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, Canada, is a world leader in unlocking the brain substrates of attention and consciousness. Dr. Raz is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology & Neurosurgery, and Psychology; Senior Investigator in the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital; and a member of the Montreal Neurological Institute. He heads both the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at McGill University and the Clinical Neuroscience and Applied Cognition Laboratory at the Institute for Community and Family Psychiatry. Former member of the McGill Board of Governors and Editor-in-Chief of a specialty peer-reviewed journal, Professor Raz combines cutting-edge science and trailblazing research with community outreach, science teaching, and interdisciplinary education in the health and psychological sciences. With peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Nature, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, The Lancet, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor Raz has received multiple accolades, ranging from a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression and the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award, to Fellow of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis and Honorary Fellow of the Golden Key Society. His research interests span the neural and psychological substrates of attention, suggestion, placebos, and self-regulation. A former magician and musician, he also conducts research into the cognitive neuroscience of deception, ownership, altered consciousness, and atypical cognition. Using imaging of the living human brain, genetics, and other techniques, his research brings together basic and clinical science.

Readings (* = required)

*Implications of Placebo and Nocebo Effects for Clinical Practice: Expert Consensus (2018)

Thibault, R. T., Veissière S., Olson, J. A., Raz A. Treating ADHD with Suggestion: Neurofeedback and Placebo Therapeutics. Journal of Attention Disorders (in press).

*Thibault, R. T., & Raz, A. (2017). The Psychology of Neurofeedback: Clinical Intervention even if Applied Placebo. American Psychologist72(7), 679–688.

Thibault, R. T., Lifshitz, M., & Raz, A. (2018). The climate of neurofeedback: Scientific rigour and the perils of ideology. Brain141(2), e11.

Terhune DB, Cleeremans A, Raz A, Lynn SJ. (2017). Hypnosis and Top-Down Regulation of Consciousness. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

Raz, A. (2007). Hypnobo: Perspectives on Hypnosis and Placebo. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 50(1), 29-36.

FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Jeffrey Snodgrass, PhD

Time: Friday, August 17, 9:00–10:30 am

Title: Field Methods

Abstract: This session will present an overview of methods suitable for conducting field projects attentive to local social and cultural processes. Focus will be on the development of culturally-sensitive positive and negative subjective well-being scales, via specialized “cultural domain analysis” techniques drawn from cognitive anthropology, including free-lists, pile-sorts, and cultural consensus/consonance analysis. The session will examine how social and neuroscientific questions can be addressed by integrating such scales into projects alongside other methods, including ethnography/participant-observation, semi-structured interviews, field surveys, social network analysis, and biomarkers. Examples will be drawn from the session leader’s own research with the indigenous Sahariya “conservation refugees” of central India, and also with gamers playing in online virtual worlds. In those two contexts, emphasis will be on illuminating relationships between culture, stress, and the HPA axis, and especially on the role that culturally learned frames of meaning—sometimes called “cultural models,” which can be captured in well-constructed scale measures—play in regulating linked mental and physical well-being. In discussing those practical examples, issues related to both data collection and analysis will be raised, as well as the importance of careful study design, exploratory and confirmatory phases of research, mixing qualitative and quantitative methods, and working collaboratively with others.

Biographical Note: Jeffrey G. Snodgrass, PhD, Professor of Anthropology, Colorado State University, has conducted long-term ethnographic research in India on topics typically related to religion. He is currently investigating avatar therapeutics in ritual and play contexts from an integrative bio-psycho-cultural perspective, with ongoing projects in the U.S., France, India, and China. This research critically engages the movement for global mental health, empirically investigating the value of folk therapeutic alternatives and complements to current mainstream psychiatric approaches. He directs CSU’s Ethnographic Research and Teaching Laboratory (ERTL).

Readings (* = required)

*Snodgrass, J.G., Lacy, M.G. & Upadhyay, C. (2017) Developing Culturally Sensitive Affect Scales for Global Mental Health Research and Practice: Emotional Balance, Not Named Syndromes, in Indian Adivasi Subjective Well-Being. Social Science & Medicine 187: 174–183.

*Snodgrass, J.G., et al. (2017). Online Gaming Involvement and Its Positive and Negative Consequences: A Cognitive Anthropological ‘Cultural Consensus’ Approach to Psychiatric Measurement and Assessment.” Computers in Human Behavior 66 (2017): 291–302. [Supplementary material discusses the interview analysis informing the scales:]

Snodgrass, J.G., et al. (in prep). Addictive and Problematic Internet Gaming in North America, Europe, and China: Distinguishing Core from Peripheral Psychiatric Symptoms. Working manuscript.

Snodgrass, J.G., et al. (in prep).The Cross-Cultural Validity of Internet Gaming Disorder: A Comparative Study of North America, Europe, and China.

Snodgrass, J.G. (2014) Ethnography of Online Cultures. Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology, 465–496.

Snodgrass, J.G. David Most, and Chakrapani Upadhyay. “Religious Ritual Is Good Medicine for Indigenous Indian Conservation Refugees:  Implications for Global Mental Health.” Current Anthropology 58, no. 2 (2017): 257–84.

Snodgrass, Jeffrey G., H. J. François Dengah II, Michael G. Lacy, Robert J. Else, Evan R. Polzer, Jesusa M. G. Arevalo, and Steven W. Cole. “Social Genomics of Healthy and Disordered Internet Gaming.” American Journal of Human Biology 0, no. 0 (n.d.): e23146.

Zahran, Sammy, Jeffrey G Snodgrass, David G Maranon, Chakrapani Upadhyay, Douglas A Granger, and Susan M Bailey. “Stress and Telomere Shortening among Central Indian Conservation Refugees.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 9 (2015): E928–E936.

Suzanne King, PhD

Time:   Friday, August 17, 11:00-12:30 pm

Title: Using Natural Disasters During Pregnancy to Increase Understanding of the Biopsychosocial Mechanisms of Human Neurodevelopment

Topic: Field Methods

Abstract: Neurodevelopment is a complex process with roots in the prenatal, and perhaps even the preconception, periods. Applying the experimental method with random assignment to groups, animal research on prenatal stress is clear in its model: applying stress to the pregnant dam increases her circulating glucocorticoids which can overwhelm the placental barrier enzyme 11-beta-HSD2 and alter fetal development. However, the generalization of the animal literature to humans is problematic given differences in the timing of fetal neurodevelopment relative to birth, and the greater complexity of our relationship with stress as human beings.

This presentation will take the audience through the development and results of a unique research program aimed at measuring the psychological, social, and biological aspects of prenatal maternal stress and its effects on the unborn child. Dr King studies child-bearing women who experience various degrees of hardship from natural disasters: the 1998 Quebec ice storm; the 2008 Iowa floods; the flooding in Queensland Australia in 2011; the wildfires of Fort McMurray, Alberta in 2016; and the flooding in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Using the quasi-random distribution of hardship in these samples, this research program is assembling a complex puzzle of the developmental origins of health and disease including the following factors: psychological and biological aspects of stress; DNA methylation; brain structure; immune function; and the prenatal and postnatal social factors that can buffer mother and child.

Biographical Note: Suzanne King, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University as well as a principle investigator at the McGill-affiliated Douglas Mental Health University Institute, both in Montreal, Canada. After graduate training in psychology and educational research in Virginia, she conducted post-doctoral research at the Douglas, studying the family dynamics of people with schizophrenia. Her results led to the study of risk factors for mental illness, and then of prenatal maternal stress in particular. She is currently running five studies of children exposed to natural disasters in utero in order to understand the nature and mechanisms of effects of prenatal stress.

Readings (* = required)

  1. *Prenatal maternal stress and brain development – a review [1]
  2. *Prenatal maternal stress and epigenetics – a review [2]
  3. *Overview of using disasters in prenatal stress research [3]
  4. Prenatal care buffers maternal mental health from stress [4]
  5. Social support buffers maternal mental health from stress [5]
  6. A psychosocial model of prenatal stress and child development [6]
  7. Prenatal stress predicts infant cognitive development [7]
  8. Parental behavior buffers infant neurodevelopment from prenatal stress [8]
  9. Prenatal stress alters placental glucocorticoid signaling [9]
  10. Prenatal stress and immune function [10]
  1. Charil A, Laplante DP, Vaillancourt C, King S: Prenatal stress and brain development. Brain Res Rev 2010, 65:56-79.
  2. Cao-Lei L, de Rooij SR, King S, Matthews SG, Metz GAS, Roseboom TJ, Szyf M: Prenatal stress and epigenetics. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2017.
  3. King S, Dancause KN, Turcotte-Tremblay A-M, Veru F, Laplante DP: Using Natural Disasters to Study the Effects of Prenatal Maternal Stress on Child Health and Development. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today 2012, 96:273-288.
  4. Kildea S, Simcock G, Liu A, Kahler A, Tracy S, Austin M, Elgbeili G, Laplante DP, Kruske S, Tracy M, et al: Continuity of midwifery care moderates the effects of prenatal maternal stress on postnatal maternal wellbeing: The QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. Arch Womens Ment Health 2018, 21:203-214.
  5. Kroska EB, O’Hara MW, Elgbeili G, Hart KJ, Laplante DP, Dancause KN, King S: The impact of maternal flood-related stress and social support on offspring weight in early childhood. Arch Womens Ment Health 2017.
  6. Moss KM, Simcock G, Cobham V, Kildea S, Elgbeili G, Laplante DP, King S: A potential psychological mechanism linking disaster-related prenatal maternal stress with child cognitive and motor development at 16 months: The QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. Dev Psychol 2017, 53:629-641.
  7. Laplante DP, Brunet A, Schmitz N, Ciampi A, King S: Project Ice Storm: Prenatal maternal stress affects cognitive and linguistic functioning in 5½-year-old children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2008, 47:1063-1072.
  8. Austin MP, Christl B, McMahon C, Kildea S, Reilly N, Yin C, Simcock G, Elgbeili G, Laplante DP, King S: Moderating effects of maternal emotional availability on language and cognitive development in toddlers of mothers exposed to a natural disaster in pregnancy: The QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. Infant Behav Dev 2017, 49:296-309.
  9. St-Pierre J, Laplante DP, Elgbeili G, Dawson PA, Kildea S, King S, Vaillancourt C: Natural disaster-related prenatal maternal stress is associated with alterations in placental glucocorticoid system: The QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2018, 94:38-48.
  10. Veru F, Dancause K, Laplante DP, King S, Luheshi G: Prenatal maternal stress predicts reductions in CD4+ lymphocytes, increases in innate-derived cytokines, and a Th2 shift in adolescents: Project Ice Storm. Physiol Behav 2015, 144:137-145.