Wednesday Round Up #8


Robert Sapolsky, A Natural History of Peace
Foreign Affairs full-text article: humans, like most primates, make their own peace

Michael Gazzaniga, Are Human Brains Unique?
We’ve got big brains. So what?

Michael Wesch, Anti-Teaching: Confronting the Crisis of Significance
Pdf article bringing together Wesch’s work with digital ethnography, blogging, and participatory research with students—highly recommended

Carl Zimmer, The More We Know about Genes, The Less We Understand
The power of robust regulation: gene networks take the day

Nikhil Swaminathan, Can the Brain Be Rebooted to Stop Drug Addiction?
Brain pathways, neural plasticity, and searching for a reset switch

Arthur Caplan, Intelligent Design Film Far Worse Than Stupid
“Ben Stein’s so-called documentary ‘Expelled’ isn’t just bad, it’s immoral”


Sue Halpern, Are You Happy?
New York Review of Books piece on the recent batch of happiness pop sci books

David Leonhardt, Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All
Getting out of absolute poverty first, then relative wealth, now absolute income and lifetime satisfaction—what really matters

Mirror Neurons

Science Daily, Culture Influences Brain Cells: Brain’s Mirror Neurons Swayed by Ethnicity and Culture
Mirror neurons respond differently when faced with “stranger in a strange land” effect

Jonah Lehrer, The Neuroscience of Porn
It’s all mirrors…

Jaime Pineda & Lindsay Oberman, What Goads Cigarette Smokers to Smoke? Neural Adaptation and the Mirror Neuron System
Cues and social contagion wrapped into one pdf

Cognitive Neuroscience Review, Mirror Neuron System Differentially Activated by Facial Expressions and Social Hand Gestures
Sticking out your tongue and giving someone the middle finger—not the same fMRI

Vilanayur Ramachandran, Reflecting on the Mind
Review of the book Mirrors in the Brain

Decision Making

The Situationist, Changing Choices by Changing Situations
Presents the book Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

The Situationist, Unconscious Situation of Choice
Brains, non-conscious processes, and decision making, plus pretty brain pictures

Ross Kerber, Decisions, Decisions
MIT and Bank of America team up for technology, income, and the spend now/invest later dilemma

Mixing Memory, This Is Your Brain on Free Choice
Our brains work out our decisions before we’re even aware we’ve decided…

Disarmament Insight, Gut Feelings
Review of Gerd Gigerenzer’s recent book, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, covering heuristics and the like

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