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Les pages qui suivent ne sauraient être autre chose que des notes: un rassemblement, plus intuitif qu’organisé, de faits dispersés ne renvoyant qu’exceptionnellement à des savoirs constitués; ils appartiendraient plutôt à ces domaines mal partagés, ces terres en friche de l’ethnologie descriptive que Marcel Mauss évoque dans son introduction aux « techniques du corps » (cf. Sociologie et Anthropologie, Paris, P.U.F., 1950, pp. 365 sq.) et qui, rangés sous la rubrique « divers », constituent des zones d’urgences dont on sait seulement qu’on ne sait pas grand-chose, mais dont on pressent qu’on pourrait beaucoup y trouver si l’on s’avisait d’y prêter quelque attention...
Georges Perec, Lire : esquisse socio-physiologique, Esprit no. 453, janvier 1976, pp. 9–20.
Depuis circa l’an dix-huit de l’ère sociophysiologique, the lexical ecological categories of cryptotextuality, nymphotextuality, and phanerotextuality have all been subsumed under promiscuous textuality caeteris paribus. Likewise, the corresponding TheoCerts, NymphoRefs, and whatnot as promulgated by the soi-disant “Curriculum Sociophysiologica” nunc pro tunc have been nixed mutatis mutandis in favor ab ovo usque ad mala of the affiliative grapplings ad libitum of Affinity Groups of Sociophysiological and Altarian Divastigations (AGSAD) on Glamporium’s Playground of Taboo a pedibus usque ad caput.
— N.d.l.R.
H. M. Adler
(2002). The sociophysiology of caring in the doctor-patient relationship. Journal of General Internal Medicine 17(11): 883–890, November 2002.

abstract The emotional invesment required to construct a caring doctor-patient relationship can be justified on humane grounds. Can it also be justified as a direct physiologic intervention? Two lines of evidence point in this direction. People in an empathic relationship exhibit a correlation of indicators of autonomic activity. This occurs between speakers and responsive listeners, members of a coherent group, and bonded pairs of higher social animals. Furthermore, the experience of feeling cared about in a relationship reduces the secretion of stress hormones and shifts the neuroendocrine system toward homeostasis. Because the social engagement of emotions is simultaneously the social engagement of the physiologic substrate of those emotions, the process has been labeled sociophysiology. This process can influence the health of both parties in the doctor-patient relationship, and may be relevant to third parties.

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(1921). Problems of life and mind [Review of Reinheimer 1920]. Nature 107: 35–37, 10 March 1921.

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P. R. Barchas & J. D. Barchas
(2011). Sociophysiology 25 years ago: early perspectives of an emerging discipline now part of social neuroscience. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1231: 1–16, August 2011.

abstract Sociophysiology was a term used early in the history of sociology and then again 25 years ago to describe interactions between the “social” and the “biological” worlds. Social scientists had largely viewed biology and the brain as a “black box” that was not an active aspect of their work or theories. A landmark, unpublished conference in 1986 brought together social scientists and biologists dedicated to the idea that bringing sociological conceptualizations and approaches together with those of physiology might create new ways to understand human behavior. The umbrella question for sociophysiology was dual: how do social processes impact the physiology of the organism, and how does that altered physiology affect future social behavior? This paper summarizes that conference with the goal of providing a glimpse into the early history of social neuroscience and to demonstrate the variety of individuals and interests that were present at the emergence of this new field. The late Patricia R. Barchas organized and chaired the conference.

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R. W. Boyd & A. Di Mascio
(1954). Social behavior and autonomic physiology (a sociophysiologic study). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 120(3–4): 207–212.
A. Di Mascio, R. W. Boyd, M. Greenblatt, & H. C. Solomon
(1955). The psychiatric interview (a sociophysiologic study). Diseases of the Nervous System 16(1): 4–9, January 1955.

summary This paper reports several pilot investigations into the social and physiological parameters of the psychotherapeutic interview aimed at testing (1) whether real therapy could actually occur under the research conditions, (2) whether the Bales system of interaction process analysis could be fruitfully used to portray meaningful characteristics of the therapeutic interrelations, (3) what physiological changes occur within an interview and throughout a series of interviews, (4) whether any significant relationships exist between the social interaction and these physiological changes, and (5) lastly, to analyze the role and reactions of the therapist in the therapeutic relationship.

C. A. Ellwood
(1916). Objectivism in Sociology. [Summary of Zeliony 1912.] American Journal of Sociology 22(3): 289–305, November 1916.

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R. Gardner, Jr.
(1996). Psychiatry needs a basic science titled sociophysiology. Biological Psychiatry 39(10): 833–834.

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(1997). Sociophysiology as the basic science of psychiatry. Theoretical Medicine 18(4): 335–356.

abstract The medical specialty of psychiatry should possess a basic science in which pathologies are considered deviations from normal brain physiology. Historically, psychoanalytic pathogenesis was considered separately from brain physiology. It was not scientific because observations could not be refuted. Countering this, Eli Robins’s legacy stemmed partly from his having been damaged by a psychoanalyst. It eschewed pathogenesis. Attempting to integrate psychiatry with medicine more generally, Robins and colleagues refocused on empiricism, although they acknowledged the brain’s centrality. Here I hold that the term biology used in the context of psychiatry should broadly encompass social facets of organismal function. The term “sociophysiology” may best describe the central basic science of psychiatry because it alludes to brain functions used for the person’s social realm. Disruptions of such functions result in deviant behaviors and unpleasant feelings which psychiatrists diagnose and treat. Future study encompassing top-down and bottom-up research should include genome-neural-behavioral analyses.

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(2001a). Affective neuroscience, psychiatry and sociophysiology. Evolution and Cognition 7(1): 25–30.
(2001b). A sociophysiological exegesis of Michels’ “Thinking While Listening”. Paper presented at symposium 49, Psychotherapy Viewed from a Basic Science–Social Brain Perspective: World Psychiatric Association, of the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.
(2002). Clinical sociophysiology. Paper presented at symposium 15, The Social Brain and Psychotherapy: World Psychiatric Association, of the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.
R. Gardner, Jr. & J. S. Price
(1999). Sociophysiology and depression. In T. E. Joiner and J. C. Coyne, eds., The Interactional Nature of Depression. Advances in Interpersonal Approaches. APA: 247–268.

summary Psychiatry and related clinical sciences lack a basic science of the type that underlies other medical specialties (Gardner, 1997). Such a framework would allow an understanding of the conditions treated by clinicians as variations of normal physiological and biochemical operations just as congestive heart failure is understood in terms of a pathogenetic story concerning the cardiovascular system (heart muscle falters causing blood flow backup). Knowledge of the normal cardiovascular system and its operations informs treatment of this mechanism pharmacologically (digitalis preparations) and by counsel (bed rest and low-salt diet). In parallel, we propose that knowledge of normal systems and their operations would inform the treatment and counseling of depression. In this chapter, we hope to formulate this framework with respect to the normal communicative processes basic to depression and to describe how the condition is a variant of normal sociophysiological operations. We suggest that this framework will provide guidance for the best counsel and pharmacological treatment of this serious malady, which is diagnosed more than any other psychiatric condition.

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R. Gardner, Jr. & D. R. Wilson
(2004). Sociophysiology and evolutionary aspects of psychiatry. In J. Panksepp, ed., Textbook of Biological Psychiatry. Wiley: 597–625.

summary Sociophysiology represents a necessary and sufficient basic science model of pathogenesis for Psychiatry. The “social brain” is the relevant body system because psychiatric disorders involve alterations of communicational systems. Brain subsystems involved with disorder and its treatment (for example, those involving serotonin and dopamine) normally mediate social function. These involve ancient subcortical signal systems used in mating, social rank hierarchy and emotions. Cerebral cortical systems enlarged in human primates refine and elaborate such interactions with implications for clinical practice.

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H. Haker, J. Schimansky & W. Rössler
(2010). Soziophysiologie: Grundlegende Prozesse der Emphatiefähigkeit. Neuropsychiatrie 24(3): 151–160.

abstract The aim of this review is to describe sociophysiological and social cognitive processes that underlie the complex phenomenon of human empathy. Automatic reflexive processes such as physiological contagion and action mirroring are mediated by the mirror neuron system. They are a basis for further processing of social signals and a physiological link between two individuals. This link comprises simultaneous activation of shared motor representations. Shared representations lead implicitly via individual associations in the limbic and vegetative system to a shared affective state. These processes are called sociophysiology. Further controlled-reflective, self-referential processing of those social signals leads to explicit, conscious representations of others’ minds. Those higher-order processes are called social cognition. The interaction of physiological and cognitve social processes lets arise the phenomenon of human empathy. | Diese Übersicht beschreibt Prozesse, welche dem komplexen Phänomen der menschlichen Empathie zugrunde liegen. Automatische, reflexartige Prozesse wie physiologische Ansteckung und Handlungsspiegelung werden über das Spiegelneuronensystem vermittelt und stellen eine Grundlage für die Weiterverarbeitung sozialer Signale dar. Im sozialen Kontakt entsteht damit auf der körperlichen Ebene eine direkte Verbindung zweier Individuen. Diese Verbindung besteht auf der gleichzeitigen Aktivierung gemeinsamer motorischer Repräsentationen. Auf implizite Art werden die so geteilten Eindrücke durch individuelle Assoziationen im limbischen und vegetativen System zu einem affektiven Zustand. Die hier beschriebenen Prozesse werden Soziophysiologie genannt. Durch kontrolliert-reflektierende, selbst-referentielle, d.h. auf die persönliche Innenwelt gerichtete (Weiter-)Verarbeitung solcher sozialen Signale, entstehen schliesslich explizite Repräsentationen des Bewusstseins von Anderen. Diese höhergradigen Prozesse nennen wir soziale Kognition. Durch das Zusammenspiel der verschiedenen Prozesse entsteht das Phänomen der menschlichen Empathiefähigkeit.

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L. Kaiser
(1946). Poging tot omlijning eener sociophysiologie. Mens en Maatschappij 21(2): 71–86.

(Written July 1944.)

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(1952). Naar een stichting voor sociophysiologie. Medisch Contact 7(9): 143–145, 28 February 1952.

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S. Mandel & H. Mandel
(2003). Letter to the editor. [Comment on Adler 2002.] Journal of General Internal Medicine 18(4): 317, April 2003.

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G. Mannoury
(1947). Sociobiology. Synthese 5(11/12): 522–525, March-April 1947.

(Refers to “the excellent essay recently published by Dr. Louise Kaiser on the outlines of modern sociophysiology” [p. 523].)

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G. Perec
(1976). Lire: esquisse socio-physiologique. Esprit 453: 9–20, janvier 1976. Reprinted in G. Perec, Penser/Classer (Paris : Hachette, 1985).
H. Piéron
(1913). Analyses bibliographiques. III. Psychologie comparée. 6º Psychologie ethnologique et sociale. Psychologie religieuse. [Review of Zeliony 1912.] L’année psychologique 20(1): 365–366.

G. P. ZELIONY. — Ueber die zukünftige Soziopsychologie [sic] (Sur la socio-psychologie [sic] future). — Archiv für Rassen und Gesellschafts-biologie, 1912, 4.

L’auteur critique très justement la notion de « conscience sociale » : La conscience n’est pas une notion qui peut intervenir dans la science, car on ne peut jamais connaître que la sienne propre; s’il en est ainsi pour la conscience individuelle, à plus forte raison doit-il en être de même pour ce qu’on appelle la conscience sociale.

Allant plus loin, l’auteur dénie même à la sociologie la spécificité du « phénomène social ». Quand un homme plonge un couteau dans la poitrine d’un autre, il y a là un phénomène perceptible, mais le crime qu’il a commis n’est pas un phénomène.

La Sociologie, pour rentrer dans le groupe des sciences de la nature, doit être physiologique. De même que pour les animaux (abeilles, fourmis, etc.), il y aura une socio-physiologie des hommes étudiant les rapports réciproques des hommes entre eux.

Il y a là un jeu de réactions que le socio-physiologiste envisagera comme des réflexes, dont le psychologue envisage les concomitants psychiques.

M. Zeliony rapproche sa conception de celle de Waxweiler et de l’Institut de Sociologie d’Ernest Solvay, faisant aussi de la sociologie la sciences des phénomènes réactionnels dus aux excitations mutuelles des individus de même espèce sans distinction de sexe. La différence, c’est que ceux-ci envisagent les processus psychiques qui seraient impliqués par ces phénomènes réactionnels.

En somme, dans l’école de Pawlow, parallèlement aux conceptions de Bechterew, se développe une philosophie générale à partir de la notion du réflexe conditionnel, d’abord appelé réflexe psychique. Toute la psychologie et maintenant toute la sociologie se construiraient sur cette base.

C’est là de la philosophie, ce n’est pas de la science. Quand M. Zeliony proteste contre la notion, toute métaphysique, d’une conscience sociale, on ne peut que l’approuver, mais je ne le suis plus quand il nie le phénomène social. En effet nous savons que les sciences ne diffèrent pas par leur objet comme il semble le croire, mais par notre point de vue et nos méthodes; le fait de plonger un couteau dans la poitrine d’un homme peut être étudié au point de vue physique ou chimique, aussi bien qu’au point de vue physiologique, psychologique et sociologique.

La psychologie se constitue parfaitement sans faire appel à la notion de conscience, la sociologie doit en faire de même. Mais le fait que ce n’est plus la méthode physiologique qui est utilisée par le psychologue, ni la méthode psychologique, par le socioloue, suffit pout justifier une distinction de disciplines. Et il n’y a pas à notre avis d’opposition réelle entre le sociologue qui prétend étudier les « phénomènes sociaux » et celui qui se borne à l’examen des réactions mutuelles des hommes, car ce sont ces réactions mutuelles qui constituent les phénomènes sociaux.

On se perd en discussions vaines sur ces questions d’étiquettes et de classifications scientifiques. Mieux vaut faire progresser la science par l’étude de nombreux faits, que ceux-ci soient considérés comme spécifiquement sociaux et même comme relevant d’une conscience sociale, ou qu’ils soient envisagés comme des interréactions psychiques ou même comme des jeux de réflexes. Ce sont des mots differents, mais on peut passer des uns aux autres.

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H. Reinheimer
(1920). Symbiosis. A Socio-Physiological Study of Evolution. London: Headley Brothers.

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R. B. Saperstein
(1961). Sociophysiologic anatomy of women. Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 16: 224–227, March 1961.
G. Stock
(2003). Reflexionen über den akademischen Lehrer, Forscher und Wegbereiter einer Soziophysiologie. Das Gesundheitswesen 65(5): 288–294, May 2003.

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P. W.
(1913). Recent Literature. [Summary of Zeliony 1912.] American Journal of Sociology 18(6): 863, May 1913.

Ueber die zukünftige Soziophysiologie. — Sociology can become a natural science only by confining itself to the study of the physiological side of human relationships. Natural science deals with facts of experience, phenomena. The scientist disregards psychic processes in others than himself, as they are not phenomena. Modern sociology is full of erroneous conceptions of so-called social phenomena. Natural science is based on the principle that every external phenomenon has its cause in an external phenomenon. To explain means to establish a constant relation between phenomena of the same order. The naturalist may not have recourse to men’s psychical processes in explaining their conduct. He proceeds from the data of immediate experience — a viewpoint that may be called scientific solipsism — and comprehends all our reactions within the framework of objective physiological fact. We must rid ourselves completely of the idea of man as a psycho-physical organism, and must present him merely as an organism, ignoring his psychics entirely. Sociophysiology must base itself on the external physiology of the individual organism. Psychological sociology will attain a high degree of development only on the basis of a mature physiological sociology. — G. P. Zeliony, Archiv für Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie, July–August, 1912.

L. A. Zambarano
(2001). The Interactional Nature of Depression: Advances in Interpersonal Approaches. [Review.] Psychiatric Services 52(8): 1110, August 2001.

extract More off the mark is a chapter by Gardner and Price on sociophysiology and depression, which, as an evolutionary model, employs an involutional physiological explanation of depression. The model generates a number of explanatory hypothetical constructs. Most noteworthy among them is the involuntary subordinate strategy, which is defined as an absence of behavior and somehow best compared to hibernation. Using ‘propensity physiological states’ that antedate language — and human beings — as an explanation of present-day depression is not what I understand the authors of the introductory chapter to have in mind. However, this chapter does provide abundant material for debate on theoretical and ethical issues by referring to such treatment strategies as the following: ‘One marital therapist, treating a woman with depression, successfully gave the antidepressant to the husband to take himself, rather than to the wife.’

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G. P. Zeliony
(1912). Über die zukünftige Soziophysiologie. Archiv für Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie 9(4): 405–429, Juli-August 1912.

(“Als Bericht in der St. Petersburger Philosophischen Gesellschaft vorgetragen am 19. März 1909.”)

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