Rebecca A Seligman

  • 443 Citations

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Professor Seligman is a medical and psychological anthropologist who focuses on transcultural psychiatry, or the study of mental health in cross-cultural perspective. Her research interests involve critical examination of the social and political-economic forces that affect the experience and distribution of mental and physical illness, with an emphasis on the physical processes and mechanisms through which such forces become embodied. Seligman is interested in the relationships of stress, social disadvantage, and cultural models of selfhood to outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, somatization, diabetes, and depression. She is also exploring current neurobiological research concerning these phenomena.

Her past research has explored the connection between mental health and religious participation in northeastern Brazil. Her book on this research was recently published.

Her current research focuses on mental and physical health disparities among Mexican Americans.  This includes research on the links between diabetes and depressed affect among Mexican Americans, and in particular, the relationships among negative emotion, social relationships, and blood sugar. In addition, Seligman is working on a project investigating mental health and psychiatric treatment among Mexican American youth.

Education/Academic qualification

Anthropology, PhD, Emory University

… → 2004

Anthropology, MA, Emory University

… → 2001

Anthropology, BA, Skidmore College

… → 1995

Research interests

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Latin America
  • Psychological Anthropology
  • Cultural influences on mental health and healing
  • Self and narrative
  • Embodiment and mind-body interaction
  • Psychophysiology neuroscience
  • Cultural neuroscience
  • Immigrant and refugee mental health
  • Ritual

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Research Output

Cognition Beyond the Human: Cognitive Psychology and the New Animism

Ojalehto mays, B., Seligman, R. & Medin, D. L., Jan 1 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Ethos.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Mind, Body, Brain, and the Conditions of Meaning

    Seligman, R., Sep 2018, In : Ethos. 46, 3, p. 397-417 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Scopus citations

    “Bio-looping” and the psychophysiological in religious belief and practice: Mechanisms of embodiment in Candomblé trance and possession

    Seligman, R. A., Jan 1 2017, The Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 417-439 23 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • 3 Scopus citations

    Locating Culture in the Brain and in the World: From Social Categories to an Ecology of Mind

    Seligman, R., Choudhury, S. & Kirmayer, L. J., Jan 12 2016, The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience (Oxford Library of Psychology). Li, S-C., Seligman, R., Turner, R. & Chiao, J. (eds.). 1st edition ed. Oxford University Press, p. 3-20

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter