Wednesday Round Up #37

This week it’s sex, brains, anthro, and HIV/AIDS…

Top of the List

Jonah Lehrer, Poverty and the Brain
The Frontal Cortex on why inequality is bad for kids’ developing brains. Jonah discusses the new book Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough on the impact of poverty on children and the work of Geoffrey Canada to change things in Harlem. NPR also had a recent radio show on Canada and his Harlem Children’s Zone.
Jonah mentions the work of Martha Farah, and over at The Mouse Trap Sandy G provides a detailed consideration of Farah’s work in Neurological Correlates of Poverty. For even more on this topic, you can see the piece I wrote back in February entitled Poverty Poisons the Brain.

Olivier Morin, Community and Religion: Poor Predictors of the Bliss of Nations
The new Culture and Cognition blog keeps turning out some great stuff, this time on the Sunday fistfight in Jerusalem (complete with YouTube clip) and why latter-day Durkheimians like Jonathan Haidt aren’t all that.

Ty Burr, George Lucas Interview
The creator of Star Wars wants neuroanthropology!

Mohed Costandi, The Power of the Memory Molecule
Mo from Neurophilosophy writes this great piece in Scientific American’s Mind Matters


Nicole Yorio, Dating 101: The Truth About Why Men Cheat
Actual interviews and a compare-and-contrast sample – that gets us well beyond the usual tried-and-trite for this topic, even if ends up as a rather lite book

LL Wynn, What Is a Prostitute?
The anthropologist recounts her work in Egypt and the blurry lines of what counts as prostitution

Mind Hacks, The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
Things that go bonk in the night…. A great new book

Hanna Rosin, A Boy’s Life
An Atlantic Monthly article on Brandon Simms, who imagined himself a girl and his parents “decided to let him grow up as one”

Dave Munger, Projection, Fear, and Sex: An Evolutionary Psychology Explanation of a Freudian Phenomenon
Explaining Freudian projection using sexually-driven over-interpretation – we read what we want into neutral expressions

Tara Parker-Pope, Love, Sex and the Changing Landscape of Infidelity
Changing patterns of infidelity in both young and old and men and women in the US

Brad Stone, Craigslist Agrees to Curb Sex Ads
The offering of erotic services gets tamed

Cognitive Daily, Do You Do It for Love? Or Is Sexual Desire Completely Separate?
Body gestures differentiate love and desire – something any good primate could tell you, but we humans do get confused. But we discuss things, and that makes a difference too.

John Grohol, Friends with Benefits
The latest from the college sex scene and the relationships therein


Neuroskeptic, Mood Is Chemistry. No Really, It Is
In this new blog, a good reflection on what we know about serotonin, depression and subjective experience

Benedict Carey, In a Novel Theory of Mental Disorders, Parents’ Genes Are in Competition
Father’s and mother’s genes duke it out in your brain! That makes you insane. For more, see the NY Times and the latest update on how evolutionary psychology gives us interesting hypotheses and insights while simultaneously trying to grab all explanatory power insight. It’s evolution-and-genes, after all, what more do we need? For more, see Mind Hacks.

Gary Olson, We Empathize, Therefore We Are: Toward a Moral Neuropolitics
Compassion, neuropolitics, and Obama in one lengthy post

Olivier Morin, “No Evidence of Human Mirror Neurons”
A Culture and Cognition riff off the recent Journal of Neurosciences article aiming to debunk the hype of mirror neurons in humans

Deric Bownds, The Creationists Go to War over the Brain
The New Scientist piece by Amanda Gefter about creationist takes on our brain has been making the rounds (see Mind Hacks). Deric includes both a long excerpt and the article itself so you can see what all the fuss is about.

The Neurocritic, Hah Ha!
Bullies empathize with others’ pain – and like that they are the ones causing it. Rather than being cold and unemotional, they care… just in all the wrong ways.


David Berreby, You-Heard-It-Here-First Department
I just came across the US and Them blog by the science writer David Berreby. Here he provides brief coverage of how we classify others and how brief exercises can help overcome that. The important part, personal experience and creating a relationship.
For more from Us and Them, David has an entire Brain and Mind category.

Understanding Society, Are There “Social Kinds?”
An argument for social mechanisms, but not social kinds, from this realist philosopher

Open Access Anthropology, Clarence Gravlee Uses Open Access
The rising young anthropologist delivers a slick website, complete with publications. To see it for yourself, go check out Lance’s online publications and help make him blush. Lance does plenty of good work in human biology, cultural concepts, stress, race, and more.

Jhangora, Devils’ Trails Are ‘The World’s Oldest Human Footprints’
Barefoot in Italy 350,000 years ago

Jonah Lehrer, A Talk with Kelly Bulkeley
Studying the links between dreams and religion

Patrick Barkham, The Power of Speech
More on Daniel Everett, the Amazonian Pirahã, and why Chomsky is wrong over at The Guardian. Some critical reaction from Embodied Talk.

Pauline Chen, A Positive Approach to Doctors in Training
Rather than the usual negative reinforcement in residency, turning positive helps everyone learn and work together

Pauline Jelinek, General Bucks Culture of Silence on Mental Health
General David Blackledge speaks up about his own psychiatric counseling for war trauma

Benedict Carey, Tolerance over Race Can Spread, Studies Show
Mutual trust can spread as fast as suspicion, through the extended contact approach of creating relationships between pairs of diverse people

Katherine Zoepf, Deprogramming Jihadists
Rehabilitation efforts in Saudi Arabia chronicled in the NY Times


BBC News, Lesotho AIDS Diary
Following the lives of seven people dealing with AIDS in different ways in this small African country where 1 out of 4 people have HIV

Gardiner Harris, Detailed Study on Spread of H.I.V. in U.S.
“the majority of new cases occur among gay and bisexual men and that blacks are most at risk. But the data show that whites and blacks tend to be infected at different times in their lives with the virus that causes AIDS”

Christopher Burrell, A Low-Tech Way to Combat HIV/AIDS
Male circumcision can help lower rates of transmission

Tasha Eichenseher, Text Messages Used to Combat AIDS in S. Africa
Getting the word out through cell phone texting – a new way to promote prevention and getting tested

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