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Archive for the ‘Wednesday Round Up’ Category

Wednesday Round Up #109

Posted by dlende on April 1, 2010

Tops on down…

Top of the List

International Cognition and Culture Institute, ICCI – Mini Grant Competition
Up to five grants will be awarded to encourage anthropologists with good ethnographic knowledge of their field sites to perform an experimental study that will help provide comparative cross-cultural data on children’s and adults’ reasoning about human social kinds. The deadline is soon!!

Tom Bowman, WWII Combat Cameraman: ‘The Public Had To Know’
During World War II, Norman Hatch was a combat cameraman who witnessed — and filmed — some of the most bitter fighting in the Pacific theater. Includes his Oscar winning video of actual WWII combat.

Mo Costandi, Fossilized 13th Century Brain with Intact Cells
An extraordinary artifact is astonishingly found intact. How this is so? The brain preserves very well!

Mike Fahey, Accused Game Cheater Gets Knife Through Head and Survives
An argument between Counter-Strike players at a Chinese net café over alleged use of a ‘wallhack’ cheat led to a 17-year-old boy being stabbed through the head with a foot-long knife. This boy ended up living to tell the tale. Includes a graphic photo.

Daniel Carlat, What Is The New Psychiatry?
The field of psychiatry is changing, and we need to change with it. This means utilizing every tool we are given to our advantage, not just the biomedical tool kit.


International Cognition and Culture Institute, Learn About Social Neuroscience
This article seeks to understand how the brain mediates social behaviors, and how social behaviors influence brain function.

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Wednesday Round Up #108

Posted by dlende on March 24, 2010

The tops, anthro, mind, health, and then some good stuff at the end – technology and some interesting videos.

Top of the List

Isabelle Winder, It’s Official – Fathers ARE Important to Their Childrens’ Upbringing
Going Ape provides an in-depth review of Lee Gettler’s new American Anthropologist article, “Direct male care and hominin evolution: why male-child interaction is more than just a nice social idea.”
To see the popular version, MSNBC carried the short and not quite so sweet Prehistoric Dads Helped with Child Care

Bill Moyers, Jane Goodall
Great video interview with Dr. Goodall, which explores her career with chimpanzees and her present humanitarian work

Colin Blakemore, Plasticity of the Brain: The Key to Human Development, Cognition, and Evolution
How do our genes program the complexity of our brains? The development of connections in our brains. The Royal Society’s Ferrier Lecture for 2010.

Jovan Maud, Greg Downey in The Australian
Greg gets his Australian interview, and provides his thoughts on the present course of anthropology. Commenting on his experience learning capoeira in Brazil and his research on sports and socialization, Greg also raises the problem of anthropology’s lack of public recognition.


Ciaran Brewster, The Incredible Shrinking Brain
Digitally scanning the inside of the Cro-Magnon skull.

Society for Linguistic Anthropology Blog, Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #2: Our Man at the Times, Ben Zimmer
A special edition of the Linguistic Anthropology Roundup to introduce Ben Zimmer, a Yale and Chicago-trained linguistic anthropologist, linguist and lexicographer, now at the New York Times

Rex, Questioning Collapse
Over at Savage Minds, the professionals take subject with Jared Diamond’s reading of their area of expertise: the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) specialist discusses Diamond’s use of the Rapa Nui data, the Incan specialist discusses Diamond on Pizzaro and Atahualpa, and so forth.

Bruce Bower, Farming’s Rise Cultivated Fair Deals
Market economies may be indebted more to cultural evolution than to Stone Age nature.

Max Liboiron, Genealogies of Garbage: Historical Meanings and Practices of Garbage and their Impacts on Trash Activism Today
The garbage crisis, yesterday and today – it’s a material world

Colin Marshall, What I Can Tell You about Interviewing After Conducting, Editing and Broadcasting 100 of Them
This week’s Marketplace of Ideas, a dialogue about the arrow of time with academic physicist Sean Carroll, marks the program’s 100th meeting. Savage Minds has a running commentary where anthropologists also offer tips.

Drake Bennett, Who’s Still Biased?
“Diversity training has swept corporate America. Just one problem: It doesn’t seem to work.”

Adam Weinberg, “Summit on Global Citizenship: Fostering Global Citizenship in Higher Education”
Get the video of Adam Weinberg, president and CEO of World Learning, giving a popular lecture at Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns


Joe Keohane, Imaginary Fiends
In 2009, crime went down. In fact it’s been going down for a decade. But more and more Americans believe it’s getting worse. Why do we refuse to believe the good news?

Mo Costandi, Brain Scans Read Memories
The concept of the memory trace, over at Neurophilosophy

Vaughan Bell, Scanning for Murder Raps
Mind Hacks on functional brain scans in court, specifically on people charged with killing people and categorized as psychopaths.

h-madness, An Interview with Jonathon Metzl
Metzl summarizes the main points of his recent book “The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease”

Neurowhoa, 700 Year Old Brain Found Preserved
And it’s rather pickled

Annie Murphy Paul, How to be Brilliant
We have a “latent talent abundance” in each of us, the author of this new book argues.

Amy Lavoie, It’s All in the Cortex
After a domestic fall out, brain activity seems to foretell resiliency

Ed Yong, Pocket Science – A Psychopath’s Reward, and the Mystery of the Shark-Bitten Fossil Poo
A tale of what goes on in the brain of psychopaths.

Jonah Lehrer, Mayan Morality
Moral scenarios are given…you be the judge of if what the person in the situation did is right or wrong around the world

h-madness, DSM-5 – Or What are You and Were They Thinking?
The DSM series – Why each new edition is worse than the last.

LiveScience Staff, Babies are Born to Dance
Babies love a beat, according to a new report that found dancing comes naturally to infants.

Jonah Lehrer, Why We Need to Dream
Why do we dream? How is it beneficial to us?


Kelli Whitlock Burton, Efforts to Prevent Childhood Obesity Must Begin Early
Efforts to prevent childhood obesity should begin far earlier than presently thought, maybe even before birth

The British Psychological Society, Reminder of Disease Primes the Body and Mind to Repel Other People
When it comes to evading infection, a mounting body of facts suggests we don’t just have a physiological immune system, but a behavioral immune one as well.

Gene M. Heyman, Addiction: A Disorder of Choice
Heyman puts forth the notion that extreme drug or alcohol use is a tempting act completely beyond the user’s control, as the term “addiction” is commonly understood as, is a cop out.


Tim Hunkin, Technology Is What Makes Us Human
The author wants to argue that, “Humans are uniquely talented at ‘thinking with our hands’, and its wrong to discard ‘intuitive’ engineering as a historical curiosity.”

Brandon Keim, Your Computer Really Is a Part of You
Everyday tools become part of ourselves – at Wired Science of course

Patrick J. Deneen, Science and the Decline of the Liberal Arts
A rather more entertaining and interesting version of “science killed the humanities” argument than most, part of The New Atlantis series on higher ed

Michiko Kakutani, Texts Without Context
A review of Reality Hunger: “Mr. Shields’s pasted-together book and defense of appropriation underscore the contentious issues of copyright, intellectual property and plagiarism that have become prominent in the world.”

Josh Rose, SXSW: Life is But a Stream
“Activity Streams, Social Objects and a little glimpse into how the data that is our lifestream will grow. And soon.”

Vaughan Bell, Lords, Ladies, and Video Games
What is the probable impact of technology, such as computer gaming, on the mind?

Niall Gordon, Posthuman Lifestyles: Has the Future Arrived?
“Professor Miah’s inaugural Professorial lecture will discuss his contribution to imagining the future and critiquing the present, by outlining the successes and failures of an emerging technological culture that marks the end of humanism.”


Leblogducorps, Soumission à l’autorité
A new French reality TV series recreates Milgram’s infamous experiments. For the English review, head over to John Hawks, The dictators will be televised

Joe Brewer, How Video Games Pave the Way to Solving Global Problems
A TED video: How cognitive science is creating a revolution in the ways we think about solving problems.

Henry Barnes, My Bright Idea: Robin Dunbar
Video of Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary anthropologistspeaking with Aleks Krotoski about our social brain, its natural limits, and the nature of Facebook.

Chris Clark, Video Humor for Spring Break
Humorous YouTube videos for people on spring break to enjoy.

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Wednesday Round Up #107

Posted by dlende on March 17, 2010

This week it’s the tops, mind, compulsions, fMRI, and anthropology. Enjoy.

Top of the List

Nicolas Baumard, Cognition and Culture Reader
Great collection of articles that cover the field of Cognition and Culture.

John Rich, Doctor Works to get Young Man out of ‘Wrong Place’
NPR show featuring the author of Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men. Rich explores the reasons why so many young African American men are ending up in hospitals with various injuries. He seeks to find a better life for these men.

Dan Hope, iPhone Addictive, Survey Reveals
The anthropologist Tanya Luhrman surveys Stanford students. Looks like the iPhone can be addictive. Like seriously. And the story even makes it to the always funny radio show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – check out the Limericks!

Elizabeth Green, Building a Better Teacher
I liked this thought-provoking piece on how to improve schools through improving teaching skills.

John Pavlus, The Science (Fiction) of Embodied Cognition
Embodied cognition demonstrated through Avatar!

Rob Nixon, Literature for Real
The draw of the real – can anthropologists learn something from creative nonfiction? For more on the fiction/nonfiction debate, head over to Blue to Blue’s Sometimes a Fantasy


Marcus Raichle, The Brain’s Dark Energy
At Scientific American, one of the main researchers on the brain’s default network explains its importance

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Wednesday Round Up #105

Posted by dlende on March 4, 2010

A day late – yesterday I was busy wrapping up that long post on how anthropologists can build a broader audience! So got my favs, and then a topical fav, skull modification! Then onto modern attempts at modification, neuromarketing. After that it’s anthropology and the mind, finishing it off with video games.

Top of the List

Jonah Lehrer, Depression’s Upside
Evolutionary approaches to depression, including an examination of Darwin’s life and how his melancholy might actually have accelerated the pace of his research. Mind Hacks provides some good commentary, including one potential problem.

Greg Boustead, The Age of Impossible Numbers
Make sure you follow the zoom in! “Running the Numbers, photographer Chris Jordan attempts to convey the vastness of modern consumption by breaking down annual statistics into more graspable quantities depicted by clever visualizations made of individual objects or groups of objects that he photographs.”

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Survival of the Fittest Theory: Darwinism’s Limits
How uncritical neo-Darwinian research is.

Ned Block and Phillip Kitcher, Misunderstanding Darwin
How the above critics got it wrong.

Maurice Bloch, Reconciling Social Science and Cognitive Science Views of the Self, the Person, the Individual etc…
The esteemed anthropologist in a great video lecture that is part of the special series of lectures ‘The Study of Cognition and Culture Today’.

Dirk Hanson, Speaking in Tongues – A Neural Snapshot
Glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, has fascinated thinkers. Tongue speakers typically claim that the outbursts are non-voluntary, but others can sometimes produce instances of glossolalia on demand. If you want to see glossolalia in action, you can also go to our extensive round up on trance in video!

Cranial Modification – or Culture Does Skulls

Carl Feagans, Artificial Cranial Modification: Head Shaping
Skull shaping reviewed at A Hot Cup of Joe, which looks at examples from around the world.

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Wednesday Round Up #104

Posted by dlende on February 24, 2010

So the favs, then a bunch of book reviews, and onto anthropology and the mind. Then some health, art and philosophy, and after you spend all day reading this stuff, why not finish it off with some alcohol and sex?

Top of the List

Sharon Begley, West Brain, East Brain
“What a difference culture makes.” Newsweek has a story on cultural neuroscience!

Chris Clark, Zooming in with Prezi
Prezi, a cool new presentation tool – an online version of Powerpoint that lets you zoom in and out and also embed YouTube and Flash animations. Looks both cool and useful!

Sarah, Would You Like to Kula?
Funny anthropology pick up lines.

BigThink, Oliver Sacks on Humans and Myth-Making
“Humans naturally create stories and narratives,” says Oliver Sacks in this video lecture.

Leslie Heywood, Gender Specs
An informed feminist takes on the evolutionary psychology approach to gender. So, what do women look for in a man? And what do men look for in a woman?

Joe Brewer, Belief and Worldview in Politics
Over at Cognitive Policy Works, an argument that what someone believes to be true is more important than what is actually true. How do our minds work? How do we view reality? These are the sort of questions addressed here, using an applied approach informed by cognitive science. Another interesting piece is Story Reversal: The Power of Frame Breaking, which includes a video.

Harvey Whitehouse, Four Recipes for Religion
Our Encultured Brain keynote presenter gives a nice summary of different types of organized religion. Discussion continues over at Cognition & Culture in the post, Religion Science: If you pay the piper, do you call the tune?

Book Reviews

Emily Bazelon, The Tiny Differences in the Littlest Brains
A review of the new book by Lise Eliot, Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — and What We Can Do About It. Looks like a very good neuroanthropology read on gender and the brain.

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Wednesday Round Up #102

Posted by dlende on February 10, 2010

Top of the List

ScienceDaily, Ancient Human Teeth Show That Stress Early in Development Can Shorten Life Span
George Armelagos, a professor of mine at Emory, is featured in Science Daily with some excellent work showing how stressful events occurring early in life, as indicated by tooth enamel, can mean a shorter life span.

Susan Carey, The Origin of Concepts
The Harvard professor has a video lecture over at Cognition & Culture, where she discusses her new book The Origin of Concepts

Jane Brody, Rules Worth Following, for Everyone’s Sake
Michael Pollan’s new book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, is reviewed very favorably over at the NY Times. I also liked his earlier interview with Tara Parker-Pope, where he presented this book as the practical version of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. Anthropologists could pay great heed to what he says:

I’ve spent 10 years looking at agriculture, food and health. I’ve done it mostly as a reporter with a lot of research and adventures and explorations. At the end of the day people want to know what to do with this information. What’s the practical import of what you’ve learned? It’s the question I always get when I’m speaking to readers… I kept hearing the word pamphlet, and I wanted to write a book that would reach as many people as possible. It’s a real radical distillation of everything I’ve been working on. It’s really just to help people to act. It’s about daily practice more than theory.

Frans B. M. de Waal, The Evolution of Empathy
How empathy is essential to who we are, in the context of apes and other animals also exhibiting this trait.

Vaughan Bell, Death of a Gladiator
A gladiator graveyard is discovered in Turkey. Really cool research on how scientists determine the gladiators’ cause of death, with a focus on traumatic brain injuries.

Owen Slot, A Great Sporting Achievement
“Why the key to becoming a successful athlete is using less, not more, of your brain.”


Daniel Carlat, Lilly: “Execute the *%#&*! out of them!”
How drug companies manipulate science and doctors in order to sell their drugs.

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Wednesday Round Up #101

Posted by dlende on February 3, 2010

Back to the old categories approach, with thanks to my student Casey Dolezal for help. So top of the list, then anthropology and writing for a broader public, mind, a nature/culture mix of anthropology, health, and finally some good stuff on addiction at the end.

Top of the List

Sharon Begley, The Depressing News about Anti-Depressants
Prozac Nation needs to face the data – anti-depressants don’t work as well as we thought, especially for more mild cases of depression (no better than placebos in the meta-analysis)

Michael Greenwell, Howard Zinn – 1922 to 2010
The “radical historian” Howard Zinn is remembered.

Lorenz, Pecha Kucha – The Future of Presenting Papers?
Papers presented the Pecha Kucha way – a visual speed presentation – is becoming more popular. Papers are not read but instead shown on a screen in 20 images, displayed for twenty seconds each.

Natalie Angier, Abstract Thoughts? The Body Takes Them Literally
The NY Times gets embodied!

Rosa Golijan, A Virtual Jam Session
Very cool music video – a rap/jazz fusion – put together by people playing virtually together

Kirstin Butler, Reading the Red Book
Carl Jung’s lifework now published and reviewed

Eric Taub, The Web Way to Learn a Language
A useful overview of how to learn a language online

Writing and Anthropology’s Public Presence

Chris Kelty, Why Is There No Anthropology Journalism?
A call to report more queries, debates, and findings from anthropology

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Wednesday Round Up #100

Posted by dlende on January 27, 2010

Made it to 100! Still the mash-up form, but I stuck a bunch on video games at the game over…

Carolyn Sargent, Who Are We in the Public Imagination?
The Society for Medical Anthropology has a new blog Voices from Medical Anthropology. Here the current SMA president asks how we present ourselves as medical anthropologists. Comments encouraged!

Chris Kelty et al., Outlaw Biology? Public Participation in the Age of Big Bio
Looks like a fascinating symposium this coming Friday and Saturday (Jan 20th & 30th) at UCLA. Plus just a fun site to explore.

Dr. Shock, The Neuroscience of Jazz
Tom Beek playing, plus fMRI studies of jazz improvisation

Mary Hrovat, Civilization Founded on Beer?
“Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist who studies human exploration of fermented beverages, believes that it might have been the desire for reliable access to alcohol, not food, that spurred the farming revolution that swept Neolithic culture…”

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Wednesday Round Up #99

Posted by dlende on January 21, 2010

Dirk Hanson, The Addiction Inbox Top Ten
The most popular posts over at very well done The Addiction Inbox: The Science of Substance Abuse

Ethan Watters, How the US Exports Its Mental Illnesses
Another great piece by Watters over at New Scientist of the globalization of US mental health concepts (or ethnopsychologies). For more, see some good commentary over at Mind Hacks

Michiko Kakutani, A Rebel in Cyberspace, Fighting Collectivism
The artist and computer scientist Jaron Lanier fights against the hive mind and digital Maoism (i.e., the wisdom of the crowd) and the importance of developing a unique voice in his new book You Are Not A Gadget

Vaughan Bell, The Ominous Power of Confession
125 proven cases of wrongful conviction based on false confessions – Mind Hacks covers an excellent yet disturbing paper

Stephen Casper, Book Review: Warwick Anderson, The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen
“This marvelous book deliberately forces us to re-imagine the meaning of sojourn, scientific discovery, colonialism, and sorcery, while at the same time providing us with an account of the discovery of Kuru, a lethal neurological disease, and the science that ultimately determined its etiology. In a narrative grounded in sources found in archives in Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the United States, and further developed through oral histories with scientists, anthropologists, and the Fore people, Anderson shows us that the prion – an infectious protein supposedly discovered in the laboratories of Britain and the United States – was a thing constructed first through colonial aspirations and global imaginations.”

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Wednesday Round Up #98

Posted by dlende on January 13, 2010

Enjoy another week, all mashed together once again.

3 Quarks Daily, Michael Moshen Performs the Triangle
An amazing display of skilled performance, integrating timing, music and throwing – definitely one I threw in here for Greg!

Robin Young, Rehab for Terrorists
NPR’s Here and Now speaks with the British journalist Owen Bennett-Jones, who has investigated the Saudi’s rehab program for terrorists. Striking to me both because of the dilemmas of this approach (or any like it) in a probabilistic age that still wants ideal absolutes, and also because of the striking difference in the portrayals of “terrorists” (see the NY Times’ recent piece, The Terrorist Mind) and how young men and women become involved and hence why rehab can work.

Institute of Psychiatry – King’s College, Post Doctoral Research Worker
Looking for a post-doc in neuroanthropology? King’s College in London’s Institute of Psychiatry wants you! The research is on cognitive models of dissociation and the subjective and neural correlates of automatic speech and writing.

Ray Tallis, You Won’t Find Consciousness in the Brain
“My argument is not about technical, probably temporary, limitations. It is about the deep philosophical confusion embedded in the assumption that if you can correlate neural activity with consciousness, then you have demonstrated they are one and the same thing, and that a physical science such as neurophysiology is able to show what consciousness truly is.”

John Cloud, Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny
Epigenetics makes Time magazine! Hunger, abundance, and multi-generational effects in Sweden is the lead case study.

David Dobbs, Neuron Culture’s Top Five from December
Get the links to the posts on David’s Orchid and Dandelion series, which talks about genetic sensitivity and the environment – really looking forward to his book on the subject

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