Wednesday Round Up #16

Biocultural Synergies

Harriet Alexander, Social Sciences Robbed of Usefulness
Publish or perish, or the perils of interdisciplinary work over acceptable field-specific crap

What Sorts of People, The Biocultures Manifesto
Co-construction of science and interpretation—but just in a walled garden

Anne Holden, Of Stress and Periods
Peter Ellison and his work on fertility and psychological and physiological stress

Sandra Kiume, Book Club: The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine
Rips the essentialist pop sci book apart

Ariel David, Mind Reading May Reveal Mother Tongue
Pretty pictures, experimental tasks and language switching

Gualtiero Piccinini, Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic
Review of the same titled book co-authored by a philosopher and a psychologist—learning from research that captures slices of subjective experience

Jeffrey Kluger, The Art of Simplexity
The complexity of simplicity—or the great efforts that go into making things easy

Pierpaolo Andriani, Gaussianitis: A Subtle and (Nearly) Universal Disease
What both biology and culture often forget: real variation, not a cultural or biological norm, or the “compulsive use” of “representative averages” gets us away from “the complexity and ambiguity of life” where humans are artisan pieces, not “standardised mass manufactured items”

Dave Snowdon, Understanding HOW Does Not Mean We Comprehend WHAT or WHY
The perils of eliminative materialism, and why evolution and culture matter

Thomas McDade and Carol Worthman, The Weanling’s Dilemma Reconsidered: A Biocultural Analysis of Breastfeeding Ecology
Pdf describing how to build a nested biocultural analysis of lactation

Psychiatry

The Last Psychiatrist, What’s Wrong with Research in Psychiatry?
Six poignant points on why it’s business as usual

John Grohol, Seven Challenges of Psychotherapy
How it can be right and wrong

Stephen Durbner, How Much Progress Have Psychology and Psychiatry Really Made? A Freakonomics Quorum
Psychiatrics, psychologists, patients and critics sit down for a great discussion

Anemona Hartocollis, Clinic Treats Mental Illness By Enlisting the Family
Beth Israel, Bipolar Disorder, and effective family therapy

Robert Pinsky, Speaking the Unspeakable
A review of the book While They Slept: An Inquiry into the Murder of a Family, which is really the story of the one daughter who survived and the trauma of before and after

Jared Tanner, Neuroscience: Psychotherapy’s Executioner?
Medication vs. psychotherapy, and the value of moderation

Benedict Carey, From the Elusiveness of Schizophrenia, New Clues to Treatment
Genetic complexity, individual variation, and therapy first

Tara Parker-Pope, Weighing Non-Drug Options for ADHD
Artificial colorings and preservatives, omega-3 fatty acids, and biofeedback as alternatives

Brain Stuff

Lawrence Parsons and Steven Brown, So You Think You Can Dance? PET Scans Reveal Your Brain’s Inner Choreography
Practice makes perfect, or how your brain gets beyond having two left feet

Charles Brack, God, Dopamine and 3-Dimensional Space
The neuropsychology of 3-D, and why that shapes religion. Kind of out there, but some interesting ideas scattered throughout

Germaine Greer, Review: Proust Was A Neuroscientist
Mind, not brain, as what people interested in, and brain science doesn’t quite get us there

Alvaro, Brain Health: Physical or Mental Exercise?
Research-based advice over our life course—different things matter at different times!

Deric Bownds, Growing New Brain Cells Enhanced by Social Contact
Zebra finches go plastic on us, or “increased social input” helps more neurons survive

Caroline Zink, Why the Brain Follows the Rules
The threat of punishment and differing functions in the orbitofrontal (detect and evaluate threats) and the prefrontal cortices (inhibition)

Cognitive Edge, Body Position Affects Memory for Events
Match your body to the past—you’ll remember better

ScienceDaily, Transfer of Learning Traced to Areas of the Brain
The striatum and engaging overlapping and specific brain systems

Vaughan Bell, Polishing the Rough Edges of Neurosciences
The cutting edge and the rapid commercialization edge discussed

Marriage

Tara Parker-Pope, Gay Unions Shed Light on Gender in Marriage
A more equal 50-50 split

Lisa Belkin, When Mom and Dad Share It All
Man and woman try the 50-50 split

Linda Stone, Gay Marriage and Anthropology
Marriage practices: universal and varied!

Pam Belluck, Gay Couples Find Marriage Is a Mixed Bag
What happens to normal gay people after the euphoric rush? Pretty much what happens to everyone else, with a few bad variations thrown in (no federal benefits…)

Julie Bosman, Obama Sharply Assails Absent Black Fathers
Parenting and personal responsibility pushed by the American politician

Jonah Lehrer, Soap Operas and Fertility
Brazilian soap operas bring reproduction down

Oxford Scholarship Online Monographs, Family Relationships
List of the chapters from the recent comprehensive monograph

Robert Quinlan & Marsha Quinlan, Human Lactation, Pair-Bonds, & Alloparents: A Cross-Cultural Analysis
Pdf of a recent Human Nature article—fathers help support the energy and time demands of breast feeding, with successful pair bonds related to later age at weaning

Randolph Schmid, Study: Chimps Calm Each Other With Hugs, Kisses
Consolation after fights, generally among individuals who already had valuable relationships

Nicholas Wade, Chimp’s Sex Calls May Reflect Calculation
Copulation calls and social situations–an interesting mix

Genetics

Patrick Barry, It’s the Network, Stupid
“Web of protein interactions reflects human complexity better than number of genes” Does this mean I don’t get to be a lumbering robot anymore?

Mick Kulikowski, Nurture Over Nature
“Environmental factors weigh heavily in modulating gene expression in humans”

Carol Tavris, It’s All in the Behavioural-Genetics
Epigenetics: the new Freud (or, personality, genetics, and what makes you what you are)

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Behavioral Genetics Project
Overview of AAAS resources on behavioral genetics. You can also check out their on-line Book “Behavioral Genetics” Table of Contents and download specific chapters

IBM/National Geographic Genographic Project: The IBM Site and the National Geographic Site

Anthropology.Net, How Was The World Peopled?
Population genetics and waves of people going round the world

John Hawks, The Genetic Networks Underlying Disease
Genetic networks and the importance of evolution alongside functional maps and computational methods

Ed Yong, RNA Gene Separates Human Brain From Chimpanzees
HARs, human accelerated regions, which have changed faster than expected since the last common ancestor split, and their radically different RNA which also shape the strength and effect of the functional expression

PZ Myers, Hox Genesis
Hox genes explained!

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