Krishna-K

Bio:

After completing masters in biochemistry and pre-doctoral training in university of Delhi, New Delhi, Krishna pursued his doctoral degree in university of Jena, Germany (incidentally, the university that awarded PhD to Karl Marx and Hegel as teacher). Krishna studied the architecture of brain region which is involved in brain’s higher cognitive functions like social behaviors named cerebral cortex.

Krishna moved to university of Geneva, Switzerland to study neural basis of ‘do you see what I see’ where he studied the neural underpinnings of visual information processing. Studying visual signalling and processing is important to understand bias, prejudice, stereotyping, conflicts etc.

Now, Krishna as senior research fellow in the National university of Singapore studies ‘social memory’ in a specific area of hippocampus called CA2 region.

Krishna has always been interested in contemporary social and political development due to his ethnic identity and native Tamils geopolitical location. In pursuit of understanding exploitation, prejudice, stereotyping, ingroup-outgroup conflicts, wars, genocide made him to study master’s in political science and human psychology in the meanwhile.

Krishna’s work on the anatomy of cerebral cortex (Cereb cortex, 19(2):388-401), visual information processing (Nature Commun, doi: 2017;8:2015), neural signals for craving (Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aar4983), memory disorders (J Alzheimer’s Dis, 51(3):783-791) and social memory (PNAS, 114; 41-49) have been published in top international peer reviewed scientific journals.

Krishna-K

Research Interests:

State is a creation of nature and man is by nature a political animal

Aristotle

Man is a unique social species. He generates emergent social structures ranging from groups, cultures to countries. These social structures are intricately evolved from the neural cues. Consequent social behaviors protect these social structures to survive and reproduce. Krishna is passionate about understanding how various social informations, identities, behaviours of human are learnt, stored and retrieved.

He is studying an important area of the brain called hippocampus- ‘seat of memory’ and ‘social memory’. CA2 region of hippocampus forms social memory, a sort of social ID tag to identify/discriminate others in group, race, religion, culture.

We engage in both learned and innate social interactions that foster cooperation, and drive competition for mates, food. In this context he wants to study neural basis of prosocial behavior, aggression, social dominance, social defeat, learnt helplessness, subaltern consciousness.

In addition, he is interested in extrapolating the findings of neural basis of such behaviours from an individual to society and interpolate the contemporary political developments to individual’s behavior.

Krishna sees neural blueprint of Gramscian hegemony at organism level. He hypothesises that social dominance practiced in various cultures epigenetically fortifies the ‘neural substrates’ for such behaviors leading to social conditioning. People in those hegemonic societies are cognitively conditioned.

State apparatus, media, religion and economic institutions are used as tools to fortify this mental framework in such hegemons. Russian Nobel laureate Ivan Pavlov’s ‘Pavlovian classical conditioning’ is used to explain social conditioning by Edward Bernay’s ‘Propaganda’ and Chomsky’s ‘Manufacturing consent’.

But this hypothesis needs an extensive empirical research involving multidisciplinary specialists such as historians, political scientists, economists, media experts, anthropologists and other disciplines of humanities to conclude and set a global debate on the challenges that the future faces.

Key Terms:

  • Social and political neuroscience
  • Social Memory
  • Social Dominance
  • Hegemony
  • Synaptic plasticity and memory
  • Hippocampal CA2
  • Streotyping
  • Prejudice
  • Ingroup-outgroup conflict
  • Cognitive conditioning