Lomonosov Moscow State University,
In modern science, along with the “classic” and “non-classical” approach to solving fundamental and applied problems, there is an actively developing “postnonclassical” research paradigm. This renovation of general scientific methodology has been accompanied by the emergence of new experimental technologies and new scientific research directions based on them. “Social psychophysiology” is one such direction. It is formed within the frame of postnonclassical methodology at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology. This work is devoted to the analytical review of the methods, achievements and prospects of contemporary social neuroscience and social psychophysiology studying brain structures that are specifically related to the implementation of social forms of behavior and intercultural communication. Physiological studies of brain activity during social interaction processes, which are simulated using virtual reality environments, are analyzed, and the physiological approach to the study of the brain mechanisms associated with social perception, social cognition and social behavior is used. Along with the analysis of psychophysiological studies of the mechanisms of social perception and social cognition, we discuss the theories of “Brain Reading” and “Theory of Mind” and the underlying data concerning “Gnostic neurons recognition of persons and recognition of emotional facial expressions”, “mirror neurons”, “emotional resonance” and “cognitive resonance”. Particular emphasis is placed on the discussion of a fundamentally new trend in the study of the relationship between the brain and culture (i.e., “cultural neuroscience”). Related to this connection, the following topics are raised: physiological mechanisms protecting the “individual distance” in communication between members of a personified community, psychophysiological approaches to the study of cross-cultural differences, physiological mechanisms of social classification (particularly the formation of attitudes toward representatives of various social groups and toward the content of socially oriented information), and psychophysiological approaches to the study of processes of social classification in the field of intercultural relations (racial perception, stereotypes and prejudices).
Keywords: postnonclassical approach, psychological physiology, cultural neuroscience, virtual reality, brain activity, ethnocultural identity, intercultural and interethnic attitudes, cross-cultural differences
Background. Discussion of the social origins of personality formation, based on the biological individual, is a characteristic feature of modern interdisciplinary researches at the junction of natural science and the humanities. At the same time, evolutionary aspects of the relationship between the biological (innate) and the social (acquired) — i.e., the problem of the origin of sociality — come to the forefront.
Objective. This article presents and discusses the hypothesis that the evolutionary origins of sociality are processes of evolutionary divergence (increasing individual diversity) and convergence (symbiosis) that define two oppositely directed vectors of the development of life from its simplest forms.
Method and Results. The theoretical and experimental data used to discuss the hypothesis are considered here from the standpoint of the historical evolutionary approach to the processes of formation (evolution) of the uniqueness of the personality and of social interpersonal relations. The approach is based on an understanding of these processes as a special case of the evolution of interacting systems on the basis of two opposing trends — towards preserving and towards changing the system. The hypothesis allows us to answer two questions about the ambivalence of human existence in society: (a) Why do all people, regardless of their social status, find it so difficult to endure loneliness, which is incompatible with both the mental and even physical health of each of us? (b) Why at the same time do all of us involuntarily protect the “boundaries” of our own physical, mental, and social “Me”, the violation of which is as destructive (unacceptable) to us as is loneliness?
Conclusion. Systematic historical-evolutionary analysis of the sciences of nature, society, and humankind allows us to isolate general patterns of development of complex systems, leading to a more accurate understanding of the phenomenon of personality. Such an interdisciplinary approach was used in this work on the biological roots of sociality and the particular features of individual existence in the external and to some extent social environment that generates unique individuals.
Keywords: systems, social communities, evolution of societies, sociality, symbiosis, indi- vidual diversity, person, historical and evolutionary approach