2023 Advanced Study Institute

Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University

Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry

The Situated Brain:
Culture, Context and Ecologies of Mind

June 27 - 29, 2023
Montreal, Québec

PDF icon 2023 ASI Conference Program

Advanced Study Institute Conference and Workshop (June 27 - 29, 2023)

Psychiatry has invested in neuroscience research in the hopes that brain research will provide better understanding and more effective approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Precision psychiatry aims to harness multi-omics, systems neuroscience and big data to generate predictive models that can advance psychiatric theory and clinical practice. To date, however this has continued to yield reductive approaches based on molecular, physiological or neural circuit dysfunction and corresponding pharmacological interventions. Recent work in cognitive science provides an alternate view of brain function as mediated by embodied, enacted, contextually embedded, and environmentally extended processes that constitute a social and cultural ecology of mind. What are the consequences of this ecological view of the brain for cultural psychiatry? Can these views help us rethink the place of neuroscience in an integrative, person-centered psychiatry? This Advanced Study Institute will explore the impact of these new views of mind, brain and person on our sense of self, psychiatric disorders, and processes of healing and adaptation. An interdisciplinary group of scholars will address questions at the intersection of cultural psychiatry, cognitive science and neuroscience, including: (1) ecological and 4E cognitive science views of the mind, brain and person; (2) impact of variations of culture and context on brain functioning and psychopathology; (3) incorporating social context and process in neuroscience research; and (4) translating neuroscience research into culturally informed mental health policy, systems and clinical practice.

The format will be a 2-day Workshop (June 27-28) for researchers working on these issues, followed by a public Conference (June 29) directed to mental health practitioners, researchers and students. The workshop will involve intensive discussion of pre-circulated papers by participants. After peer review, selected papers will be published in a thematic issue of Transcultural Psychiatry.

Guest Faculty: Axel Constant, Sanneke de Haan, Guillaume Dumas, Miriam Kyselo, Maxwell Ramstead, Matthew Ratcliffe, Andrew Ryder

McGill Faculty: Véronique Bohbot, Suparna Choudhury, Ian Gold, Ana Gómez-Carrillo, Laurence J. Kirmayer, Michael Lifshitz, Samuel Veissière

Selected recordings and abstracts below:


Laurence J. Kirmayer - Introduction: The Situated Brain


Laurence J. Kirmayer - The Situated Brain: Ecologies of Mind, Brain and Culture

Abstract to come

Matthew Ratcliffe - Grief as a temporally extended, socially scaffolded process

Abstract to come

Ana Gómez-Carrillo - Pragmatics of complexity in psychiatric theory, research and practice

Abstract to come

Suze Berkhout - Multiplicities and transdisciplinary methods for situated neurosciences

Abstract to come

Guillaume Dumas - Computational tools beyond computationalism

Abstract to come

Denielle Elliott - Situating injured minds

Abstract to come

Andrew Ryder - Situated mind, situated brain: An enactive perspective on disordered experience

Abstract to come

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