Neurohumanities Research Group

Neurohumanities is a nascent field that invites a dialogue between neuroscience and all areas of the humanities.


Researchers in this area explore complex models of language and the brain that incorporate a more interactive view of neurological processes in cultural context; the causes and consequences of stereotyping and system justification; the role of religious beliefs and political ideology; and artificial intelligence and the potential for creating an intelligent robotic entity.


Duke is one of the first universities to establish a program in this area. The Neurohumanities Research Group, co-sponsored by the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, brings humanists and neuroscientists into dialogue on issues that concern both groups though researched and taught with different discourses, methodologies, and technologies. The group capitalizes on Duke’s strengths in humanities and the neurosciences to develop a common language of discourse, generate new research questions, and create new educational initiatives exploring this now-approachable frontier.


Also working in this area, Duke faculty in the Duke Divinity School seek to advance theological understanding of the questions and insights being raised by current pioneering research in neuroscience. Their work in the area of theology and neuroscience addresses significant questions that touch on many disciplines, including neuro-oncology, child development, philosophy, theology, and psychiatry.


Participating Faculty

Edna Andrews, PhD (Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology, Slavic & Eurasian Studies)

Ray Barfield, MD, PhD (Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy)

Adam Hollowell, PhD (Religion, Public Policy)

Warren Kinghorn, PhD (Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology

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