Robert R. Desjarlais is Professor of Anthropology, and recently held the Alice Stone Ilchman Chair in Comparative and International Studies, at Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, NY. His interests include the cultural construction of experience, subjectivity and intersubjectivity, death and mourning, and the political economy of illness and healing. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Nepal Himalayas, with the residents of a homeless shelter in Boston, and among competitive chess players. He is the author of Body and Emotion: The Aesthetics of Illness and Healing in the Nepal Himalayas (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992); Shelter Blues: Sanity and Selfhood Among the Homeless (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997); Sensory Biographies: Lives and Deaths Among Nepal’s Yolmo Buddhists (University of California Press, 2003); and Counterplay: an Anthropologist at the Chessboard (University of California Press, 2011). He is currently writing his fifth book, titled Subject to Death: Yolmo Buddhist Engagements with Life, Loss, and Mourning.
Evan Thompson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, works in the areas of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and comparative philosophy. He is the co-author (with Francisco Varela and Eleanor Rosch) of the groundbreaking book, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, (MIT Press, 1991), one of the first books to explore systematically the relationship between Buddhist philosophy and cognitive science, and to argue for the “embodied” approach in cognitive science. Thompson is also the author of Colour Vision: a Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception (Routledge, 1995) and Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Belknap Press, 2007), and co-editor, with Philip David Zelazo and Morris Moscovitch, of the Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Shinobu Kitayama is Professor of Psychology, Director of the recently founded Center for Culture, Mind, and the Brain at the University of Michigan. He also directs the Culture and Cognition Program. Below he discusses cultural neuroscience, its foundations in cultural psychology, theoretical frameworks, and how he views the mind-brain connection in relation to differences between cultures and within cultures.
Martha J. Farah is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences and Director, Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author and editor of many books about neuroscience and has received many awards. Most recently, the Association for Psychological Science honored her with its 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. Below, Professor Farah discusses neuroethics in general and responds to questions inspired by her new book, Neuroethics: An Introduction with Readings (MIT Press, August, 2010).