The Neural Basis of Human Belief Systems

Edited by Frank Krueger, Jordan Grafman

© 2013 – Psychology Press

264 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781841698816
pub: 2012-07-09
US Dollars$84.00
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About the Book

Is the everyday understanding of belief susceptible to scientific investigation? Belief is one of the most commonly used, yet unexplained terms in neuroscience. Beliefs can be seen as forms of mental representations and one of the building blocks of our conscious thoughts.

This book provides an interdisciplinary overview of what we currently know about the neural basis of human belief systems, and how different belief systems are implemented in the human brain. The chapters in this volume explain how the neural correlates of beliefs mediate a range of explicit and implicit behaviours ranging from moral decision making, to the practice of religion. Drawing inferences from philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, religion, and cognitive neuroscience, the book has important implications for understanding how different belief systems are implemented in the human brain, and outlines the directions which research on the cognitive neuroscience of beliefs should take in the future.

The Neural Basis of Human Belief Systems will be of great interest to researchers in the fields of psychology, philosophy, psychiatry, and cognitive neuroscience.

Table of Contents

P.S. Churchland & P.M. Churchland What are Beliefs? R. Langdon & E. Connaughton The Neuropsychology of Belief Formation. R. Patterson & A.K. Barbey A Cognitive Neuroscience Framework for Causal Reasoning. E.B. Falk & M.D. Lieberman The Neural Bases of Attitudes, Evaluation, and Behavior Change. E. de Visser & F. Krueger Interpersonal Trust as a Dynamic Belief. R. de Oliveira-Souza, R. Zahn & J. Moll The Neural Bases of Moral Belief Systems. U. Wagner & H. Walter Neuroscientific Approaches to ‘Mens Rea’ Assessment. L. Moretti, I. Cristofori, G. Zamboni & A. Sirigu The Neural Structure of Political Belief. J. Bulbulia & U. Schjoedt, The Neural Basis of Religion. V. Bell & P.W. Halligan The Neural Basis of Abnormal Personal Belief. F. Krueger & J. Grafman I Believe to My Soul.

About the Editors

Frank Krueger is Assistant Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Molecular Neuroscience Department and the Department of Psychology at George Mason University. As the Chief of the Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics, Dr Krueger studies human social cognition and brain functions by applying structural and functional neuroimaging, neuropsychological testing, and molecular neurogenetics.

Jordan Grafman, PhD is Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory at the Kessler Foundation in West Orange, New Jersey, USA. Dr Grafman conducts patient and neuroimaging studies to examine the functions of the human prefrontal cortex and the rules governing neuroplasticity in the human brain. He has a particular interest in the abilities that differentiate humans from other animals.

About the Series

Contemporary Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience

Reflecting contemporary and controversial issues in the study of cognitive neuroscience, the series aims to present a multi-disciplinary forum for cutting edge debate that will help shape this burgeoning discipline. It offers leading figures in the field and the best new researchers an opportunity to showcase their own work, expand on their own theories and place these in the wider context of the field.

Titles in the series may be authored or edited; each book must aim to make a contribution to a specific topic by reviewing and synthesising the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY008000
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology