Successful defense by Dr. med. Banafsche Sayyad!

After several years, next to working as a physician at the Klinikum Neukölln (Berlin) in the field of neurology, Banafsche Sayyad has finally finished her MD in our lab! Congratulations! 

In her thesis, Banafsche examined how “sex/gender” is operationalised in functional MRI research and what consequences and implications such operationalisations carry. Therefore Banafsche analysed 34 original fMRI research papers spanning the years 2010-2015 which aimed at detecting neural “differences” or “commonalities” between genders on a neuro-cognitive level.  

Main finding of her analysis was that the way how research questions were approached/operationalised or results were interpreted already followed a reproduction of “sex/gender”-stereotypes, a binary and naturalized view on “sex/gender” and that detected “differences” as well as “commonalities” were interpreted as biological facts. 

German title of the thesis: “Geschlechtertheoretische und gesellschaftliche Implikationen neurowissenschaftlicher fMRT Forschung”

Parts of her thesis have been published in the article collection “Psychologie und Kritik” edited by Viola Balz & Lisa Malich (only in German):

“Biologisierung des Sozialen: Über die Reproduktion von stereotypen Geschlechtervorstellungen und ‚Rasse‘-Konzepten in den kognitiven Neurowissenschaften.” 

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