Constructions of the Brain

Constructions of the Brain: The Emergence of the Neurological Adolescent

Suparna Choudhury

The goal of this project is to develop meaningful interactions between history of science, anthropology and cognitive neuroscience. Using the framework of Critical Neuroscience ( and intersecting with the Cerebral Subject project, Constructions of the Brain seeks to examine the cultural contexts and social functions of recent research in the neurosciences including questions about the social brain, cultural differences and cognitive development. Currently, a particular focus of the project is the adolescent brain. The adolescence project studies how ideas and practices related to mental and moral development during adolescence developed from the late 19th century to current frameworks in neuroscience and psychiatry. It also explores the ways in which brain-based explanations of adolescence are appropriated in clinical, educational and popular domains, and among adolescents, themselves, in diverse cultural contexts. Firstly, therefore, the adolescence project will contribute to social studies of neuroscience. Through its collaborative structure organized between the Mind & Brain School, Humboldt University and the MPIWG, a second aim is to advance reflexive and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of behaviour and development.

Funding Institutions

Max Planck Society, Minerva Program