Lasana T. Harris

Lasana T. Harris is Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at University College London and Guest Lecturer in Social and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University.

  • Invisible Mind

    Invisible Mind

    Flexible Social Cognition and Dehumanization

    Lasana T. Harris

    An interdisciplinary view of the evolution and consequences of flexible social cognition—the capacity to withhold the inference of mental states to other people.

    In Invisible Mind, Lasana Harris takes a social neuroscience approach to explaining the worst of human behavior. How can a person take part in racially motivated violence and then tenderly cradle a baby or lovingly pet a puppy? Harris argues that our social cognition—the ability to infer the mental states of another agent—is flexible. That is, we can either engage or withhold social cognition. If we withhold social cognition, we dehumanize the other person. Integrating theory from a range of disciplines—social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, evolutionary anthropology, philosophy, economics, and law—with neuroscience data, Harris explores how and why we engage or withhold social cognition. He examines research in these different disciplines and describes biological processes that underlie flexible social cognition, including brain, genetic, hormonal, and physiological mechanisms.

    After laying out the philosophical and theoretical terrain, Harris explores examples of social cognitive ability in nonhumans and explains the evolutionary staying power of this trait. He addresses two motives for social cognition—prediction and explanation—and reviews cases of anthropomorphism (extending social cognition to entities without mental states) and dehumanization (withholding it from people with mental states). He discusses the relation of social cognition to the human/nonhuman distinction and to the evolution of sociality. He considers the importance of social context and, finally, he speculates about the implications of flexible social cognition in such arenas for human interaction as athletic competition and international disputes.

    • Hardcover $40.00

Contributor

  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Sixth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Sixth Edition

    David Poeppel, George R. Mangun, and Michael S. Gazzaniga

    The sixth edition of the foundational reference on cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that covers the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The sixth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. It offers entirely new material, reflecting recent advances in the field, covering the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies.

    This sixth edition treats such foundational topics as memory, attention, and language, as well as other areas, including computational models of cognition, reward and decision making, social neuroscience, scientific ethics, and methods advances. Over the last twenty-five years, the cognitive neurosciences have seen the development of sophisticated tools and methods, including computational approaches that generate enormous data sets. This volume deploys these exciting new instruments but also emphasizes the value of theory, behavior, observation, and other time-tested scientific habits.

    Section editors Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Ulman Lindenberger, Kalanit Grill-Spector and Maria Chait, Tomás Ryan and Charan Ranganath, Sabine Kastner and Steven Luck, Stanislas Dehaene and Josh McDermott, Rich Ivry and John Krakauer, Daphna Shohamy and Wolfram Schultz, Danielle Bassett and Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Marina Bedny and Alfonso Caramazza, Liina Pylkkänen and Karen Emmorey, Mauricio Delgado and Elizabeth Phelps, Anjan Chatterjee and Adina Roskies

    • Hardcover $225.00
  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fifth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fifth Edition

    Michael S. Gazzaniga and George R. Mangun

    The fifth edition of a work that defines the field of cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that reflects recent advances in the field.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fifth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. It offers entirely new material, reflecting recent advances in the field.

    Many of the developments in cognitive neuroscience have been shaped by the introduction of novel tools and methodologies, and a new section is devoted to methods that promise to guide the field into the future—from sophisticated models of causality in brain function to the application of network theory to massive data sets. Another new section treats neuroscience and society, considering some of the moral and political quandaries posed by current neuroscientific methods.

    Other sections describe, among other things, new research that draws on developmental imaging to study the changing structure and function of the brain over the lifespan; progress in establishing increasingly precise models of memory; research that confirms the study of emotion and social cognition as a core area in cognitive neuroscience; and new findings that cast doubt on the so-called neural correlates of consciousness.

    • Hardcover $200.00