Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 September 2020
In this epilogue, we reflect on the prospects for advancing interdisciplinarity in the sciences of culture, mind, and brain. Neuroscience is increasingly applied to address questions of central concern to the social sciences. Social sciences, in turn, can contribute to neuroscience research in a variety of ways, including: (1) the study of social factors that influence the brain across the lifespan; (2) the context-sensitive translation of neuroscience research into applications in clinical and other social settings; (3) critical social analyses of cultural, conceptual, and institutional framing and constraints on neuroscience research, knowledge production, and applications; and (4) integration of each of these approaches in an ecosocial view of the brain in its social-cultural niche. Obstacles to interdisciplinarity stem from institutional structures, methodological strategies, epistemic commitments, and divergent ontologies. We describe strategies to surmount these obstacles, including: (1) institutionally, creating spaces for collaborative work, supporting interdisciplinary career tracks, and ensuring sustained funding; (2) conceptually, borrowing models and metaphors across disciplines, establishing boundary objects of common interest, using system diagrams to locate diverse levels and processes in the same model; and (3) methodologically, establishing convergent validity through mixed and hybrid methods, and creating shared databases and pipelines to facilitate integration of multiple perspectives.