Big Data, Small Kids: How Pediatric neuroscientists, Families with Diagnosed Children, and Young Adults Advocating for Their Own Neurodiversity Describe the Brain

Rayna Rapp
Date and Time: 
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 3:15pm

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


Images of the human brain and neuro-talk are increasingly present throughout American culture. How is the brain, and brain-talk, affecting perceptions of human variability and pathology? This talk examines the daily uses of brain imagery in a US pediatric neuroscience laboratory researching ADHD and other childhood diagnoses. It also reports on interviews with families who children are labeled with the conditions the scientists are investigating, and young adult activists campaigning against the prejudice they have experienced in living with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral diagnoses. At stake are emergent understandings of human diversity: How/are they lodged in our brains?


Rayna Rapp is Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Anthropology, New York University. Her prior research has focused on gender and the politics of reproduction; the intersection of medical anthropology and science studies; and disability studies. Among her publications, she is the author of Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America and co-editor of Conceiving the New World Order: the Global Politics of Reproduction.

Colloquium Series This Quarter