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Human Cultures through the Scientific Lens

Pascal Boyer

List of Tables and illustrations

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Chapter 3

Fig. 1. A summary of some cortico-striatal pathways relevant to OCD. Continuous line for the ‘direct’ pathway and dotted line for ‘indirect’ pathways (both highly simplified). SMA: Supplementary Motor Area, DLPFC: dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex, OFC: orbito-frontal cortex, Caud: caudate nucleus, Put: Putamen, Cing.: Cingulate Cortex, NA: Nucleus Accumbens, GP: globus pallidus (external and internal), SN (pr): substantia nigra pars reticulata, SubTh Nuc: Subthalamic nuclei. (Figure by P Boyer, 2006). 63
Fig. 2. An interpretation of Szechtman and Woody’s (2004) model. Rectangles correspond to distinct systems activated, rounded boxes to behavioral results and call-outs to aspects of the processing. Danger clues are evaluated and action-plans selected, resulting in a ‘just right feeling’ that sends negative feedback to danger appraisal. This loop is absent or impaired in patients, leading to doubts about performance, which themselves result in repetition and rigid action-plans. (Figure by P Boyer, 2006). 67
Fig. 3. Summary of our Potential Hazard and Precaution model. Boxes denote specific processes with corresponding neural systems. Rounded box describes performance. Dark call-outs describe some of their typical properties. Clues for danger must suggest hazards from the Potential Hazard Repertoire. Appraisal of the clues if modulated by anxiety, leading to activation of plans from Evolutionary Precaution Repertoire and action-monitoring systems. At the normal end of the spectrum, performance triggers satiety feelings with a negative feedback to danger appraisal systems. At the pathological end of the spectrum, doubts about proper performance lead to repetition and a positive feedback to danger appraisal. (Figure by P Boyer, 2006). 70
Fig. 4. A simplified model of action ritualization in cultural rituals. Boxes identity different functional systems in the same way as in Fig. 3 . Participants in rituals are provided with two kinds of information, (a) statements about potential danger and (b) scripted recipes for ritual action, that activate the security-motivation systems. Rules for ritual performance result in both goal-demotion and low-level action-parsing with the resulting swamping of working memory. These processes result in highly attention-demanding and compelling performance of rigidly scripted actions. This in turn makes the associations more salient, which should make subsequent messages about ritual more intuitively compelling. (Figure design by P Boyer, 2006). 95

Chapter 4

Fig. 1. Schematic representation of functional processes involved in the adjustment of the coalitional safety index (left) and examples of such processes (right). The model describes how attention to social information, for instance, about people’s behaviors indicating affiliation, leads to inferences of social threat and social support. These inferences modulate the coalitional safety index, which has two main consequences. First, it changes motivations concerning action plans, for instance, an effort to remain within one’s group, to avoid others, or to boost solidarity in one’s own group. Second, lowering the coalitional safety index triggers a stress response, which can have adverse long-term consequences. (Figure design by P Boyer. 2015). 126

Chapter 5

Fig. 1. A summary of the systems and representations involved in forming folk-economic beliefs. External information about economic matters triggers activation of specific mental systems, which results in both economic behavior and explicit folk-economic beliefs. The latter’s effects on behavior cannot be assumed. Different fields, represented as clouds, focus on different parts of these processes. The model presented here is about the causal arrow linking specific mental systems to the occurrence of folk-economic beliefs in people’s minds. (Figure by P Boyer. 2017) 161
Fig. 2. Illustration of the sequence of cognitive processes involved in acquisition of economy-related information and generation of folk-economic beliefs. (Figure by P Boyer. 2017) 183

Chapter 6

Table 1. Inherent expectations and corresponding potential violations . Table by P Boyer. 228
Table 2. Collation of symptoms outlined in Devereux’s case-studies. First column, case-study number; second column, page in Devereux (1961). Third column, quotation from the case-study. Fourth column, principles from Table 1 that may be breached in that case. 232
Fig. 1. A reduced model of the detection of mental disorder. Dysfunction sets off behaviors (stars), of which only a few can be perceived as breaches of intuitive psychology (many ‘bounce off’ intuitive perception). In certain cases, perception may be erroneous (where the origin of the behavior is something other than dysfunction). Perception of dysfunction notifies and limits people’s models—only some of these complete the stages of acquisition and communication (ineffective models ‘bounce off’ transmission). Models which are often triggered may have feedback (‘looping’) effects both on themselves (transmission biases) and on certain people’s behaviors. These are illustrated using dotted lines. (Figure by P Boyer) 239


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