Neuroanthropology

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Complete this quote: “…the theories, technologies and findings…can be productively combined to…”

Posted by Paul Mason on December 13, 2009

How will you complete this quote?

“…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, linguistics and anthropology can be productively combined to…” 

This week’s quote comes from Professor Marc Hauser’s Nature article, “The possibility of impossible cultures” (vol460, pp 190-6).

Professor Marc Hauser was part of a panel presentation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Mind & its Potential Conference this year which was reviewed at Susi’s website. Marc Hauser is a Harvard College Professor of Psychology, the Director of the Cognitive Evolution Lab, the Co-Director of the Mind, Brain and Behaviour Program and Fellow of the Center for Ethics, Harvard University, USA. His research sits at the interface between evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience and is aimed at understanding the processes and consequences of cognitive evolution. Observations and experiments focus on human and nonhuman primates, incorporating methodological procedures and theoretical insights from behavioural ecology, infant cognitive development, evolutionary theory, cognitive neuroscience, biological anthropology, linguistics and philosophy. Current foci include: the nature of our moral judgments, the computations subserving our language faculty, the evolution of cooperation, economic decision making, conceptual representations in the domains of mathematics, space, language and music, and animal communication.

Reply below and let us know how you would complete the following out-of-context unfinished-extract from one of Marc Hauser’s recent Nature articles:

“…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, linguistics and anthropology can be productively combined to…” 

After completing the above quote, you may be interested in exploring the Moral Sense Test which is a Web-based study into the nature of moral intuitions sponsored by the Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. The Situationist has a couple of detailed blog posts on Hauser’s work: The situation of Innate Morality and Marc Hauser on the Situation of Innate Morality.

Unfinished quotes from previous weeks:
“Emotional expressions are crucial to…”
“You have brains in your head, you have…”
“One of the difficulties in understanding the brain is…”
“There is no scientific study more vital to man than…”
“If a meme is to dominate the attention of a human brain, it…”
“Shaped like a little loaf of French Country bread, our brain is…”
“Our cherished belief in the specialness of human consciousness has not prevented us from…”
“To some extent, in a variety of imperfect ways, individually and collectively, we have the means to…”

13 Responses to “Complete this quote: “…the theories, technologies and findings…can be productively combined to…””

  1. Grumpy said

    The theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, linguistics and anthropology can be productively combined to…suggest a logical reason why the chicken wanted to cross the road in the first place…..

  2. craftbition said

    … to create a true Restaurant at the End of the Universe….

    … with meat that wants to be eaten, waiters that can communicate with any patron no matter where or what they come from, and the background understanding of how send men to the stars (and ultimately look upon the End of the Universe) without them going insane.

    in short, we’ll use them to do what we’ve always done. To transcend our Humanity.

  3. Janis said

    ” … support any damnfool idea that the journalist in question wants it to.” :-)

  4. Paul Mason said

    …completely confuse first year university students (who are interested in climbing the intellectual pillars of science but despite their best efforts find themselves recklessly absailing down these pillars with neither rope or harness because their ripped version of microsoft word doesn’t come with a dictionary and a spell-checker and their internet connection is on the blink precluding the unadulterated use of wikipedia and google scholar).

  5. [...] Complete this quote: “…the theories, technologies and findings…can be productively… [...]

  6. Tom Arnold said

    The theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, linguistics and anthropology can be productively combined to demonstrate that criminal behavior results when one of two things happens. A: The normally selfish person is not socialized effectively to cooperate with society through a combination of both positive and negative feedback, or B: The person’s brain is injured at some point in the life span, causing a defect in social processing. Through these disciplines, it will be shown that the base state of humans is self centered behavior. Evolutionary developmental biology will show that, as the person develops, most people learn over time that cooperation with society provides the maximal return on invested energy. In other words, cooperation is the selfish act that is most likely to enhance survival. Those who commit crimes as adults either did not receive the proper conditioning, or their brains have been damaged through head trauma. The age crime curve will be shown to be the result of increasing physical capacity, intersecting with declining propensity for rule breaking that had been occurring since age two. Anthropological studies will demonstrate that crime in adolescence is the result of an evolutionary advantage to a developmental pattern where young people have the capacity to break the rules in order to gain coveted resources and then move to a more conventional position of cooperation with others as they age. Neuroscience will demonstrate why criminal propensity is so hard to change, as the topobiology of the brain (per Gerald Edelman) changes slowly due to the limitations of neuroplasticity. The poor results of prediction efforts will be found to be the result of chaotic processing in the brain (per Walter Freeman), which leads to randomization of behavioral choices.

  7. [...] number of possible circuits, we would…” The “chief activity [of the mind] consists…” “…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biolo…“To some extent, in a variety of imperfect ways, individually and collectively, we have the [...]

  8. [...] number of possible circuits, we would…” The “chief activity [of the mind] consists…” “…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biolo…“To some extent, in a variety of imperfect ways, individually and collectively, we have the [...]

  9. [...] number of possible circuits, we would…” The “chief activity [of the mind] consists…” “…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biolo…“To some extent, in a variety of imperfect ways, individually and collectively, we have the [...]

  10. [...] number of possible circuits, we would…” The “chief activity [of the mind] consists…” “…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biolo…“To some extent, in a variety of imperfect ways, individually and collectively, we have the [...]

  11. [...] number of possible circuits, we would…” The “chief activity [of the mind] consists…” “…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biolo…“To some extent, in a variety of imperfect ways, individually and collectively, we have the [...]

  12. [...] “…the theories, technologies and findings of molecular biology, evolutionary developmental biolo……to create a true Restaurant at the End of the Universe….” (Craftbition). [...]

  13. Dirk said

    …further your career with the right balance of fabricated data.”

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