Slides on brain evolution and diet

I just gave a lecture on hominin brain evolution, and it’s left my own brain kind of fried. So no clever posting from me (‘Is there ever?’ I hear the skeptics asking…). I’ll just share these slides. All the graphics have been captured from different online sources — I’ve done my best to put in appropriate credits, but that’s sometimes been difficult (or I’ve just been working so late that I forgot to do it). If I’ve included something you’d prefer I don’t, and if you’re the one who has the rights to something, just drop me a line and I’ll quickly cease and desist. My goal is only to share around the resources, not to take credit for anyone else’s work.

It’s a big file (about 3 mb), so it might take a minute depending on your connection.

A word of warning: I made this in Keynote on a Mac, so the animations and transitions might not do well on Microsoft Powerpoint. The video is no longer embedded. Here it is from Youtube:

Obviously, I don’t take the video at face value. Not just the claims about meat but also assuming that humans are the ‘most developed species’ on the planet. But it’s a great jumping off point for a discussion of diet and evolution. I did an earlier piece on this subject at: Red meat, Neandertals were meant to eat it.

If you’re interested in the whole course I’m teaching, I have previously posted the unit syllabus: Human evolution syllabus.

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Trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, I have gone on to do fieldwork in Brazil and the United States. I have written one book, Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art (Oxford, 2005). I have also co-authored and co-edited several, including, with Dr. Daniel Lende, The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology (MIT, 2012), and with Dr. Melissa Fisher, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke, 2006). My research interests include neuroanthropology, psychological anthropology, sport, dance, human rights, neuroscience, phenomenology, economic anthropology, and just about anything else that catches my attention.

5 thoughts on “Slides on brain evolution and diet

  1. Laura — thanks for asking. The course is ‘Human Evolution and Diversity’ (Anth 151). It’s a first-year, introductory unit taught to around 130 students (since it was the first time, I didn’t advertise it, so I expect it will get larger in the future). I’ve added a link to the course outline in the body of the posting. I put it up last month to share it around with our readers here at Neuroanthropology.

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