Wednesday Round Up #57

I’m feeling chaotic today…

Michael Merzenich, Brain Plasticity and Culture
Merzenich sits down to talk with Bruce Wexler, author of Brain and Culture, in this video

Sandra Aamot & Sam Wang, Computers vs. Brains
Key differences between the two, and why computers are not likely to “out think” humans as soon as some predict

Steve Ayan, How Humor Makes You Friendlier, Sexier
Scientific American on the benefits of humor and the latest scientific research on laughter

Pology Magazine – South America
Pology is an online magazine written by anthropologists acting much more as journalists. These are first-person snippets of fieldwork and local life from around the globe, as well as photo essays. While the whole world is covered, I picked the continent of Colombia to highlight.

Vaughan Bell, On the Frontiers with the Neural Gene Mappers
Mind Hack on the new Wired article – includes this great placement of research into context: “As far as we know, all learning in the brain happens through proteins, meaning that experience, learning, thought, motivation – or any other ‘psychological level’ process we can think of, acts through the many, complex and not fully understood regulation processes.”

Abnormal Interests, Follow the Leader
Chimpanzees versus humans – the importance of cultural imitation for us. Quite a good video. See also Afarensis, where there was some interesting discussion.

Afarensis, Interesting Chimpanzee Videos
A great collection of online videos. For fun, for teaching, for sharing.

Nicholas Kristof, Learning How to Think
Specialized experts don’t do well in making predictions in the real world, and fame makes it worse. Yes, we’re talking about Jim Kramer and other financial experts here. Quite struck by this line, “The marketplace of ideas for now doesn’t clear out bad pundits and bad ideas partly because there’s no accountability.”

David Jong, The Role of Attention in Sexual Arousal: Implications for Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction
Attention plays a central role in sex. Next people might say something equally crazy, that attention matters in drug abuse too.

Amanda Schaffer, Cave Thinkers: How Evolutionary Psychology Gets It Wrong
A Slate piece from a couple years back – I really liked this line, “Ultimately, the biggest problem with EP may be that it underestimates the power of evolutionary forces—both to tinker continually with the human brain, and to have created ingenious and flexible problem-solving structures in the first place.”

Tim Adams, Stuart Hall: Cultural Hallmark
A profile of the esteemed social theorist and researcher and his new project, the promotion of the art of identity at Rivington Place

Neuronarrative, Why ‘Many’ Might be the Loneliest Number: An Interview with John Cacioppo
The esteemed social neuroscientist on sociality in the modern world

Neuronarrative, Finding the Money Illusion in the Brain
Money is relative, and we’ve got the brain scans to prove it. The same thing happens in addiction, in one sense – that 2% immediate gain, but the long-term inflationary costs add up to more

Putting Stuff Together, Content, Conversation, Contagion
Nice piece on branding and how people become involved with something – a short thought piece

LiveScience, Why Toddlers Don’t Do What They’re Told
Calling up the past as needed, and storing information from later – they just live in the moment in a very different way from adults

Shafeen Charania, Elemental Learning
Learning and the potential re-tooling of schools and universities – some provocative musings

finding Dulcinea – Librarian of the Internet
An interesting site that gathers web guides and news into one place

TED Talks: Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet and funny — an evolutionary riddle
See the philosopher in action. A good presentation of how Darwin inverts our normal logic. Funny, not always right in its evol psych application, but definitely good.

Imponderablia – the international student anthropology journal
Disciplines, countries, ideas all mashed together in an online endeavor. Definitely something I hope grows.

MicrobiologyBytes, Comprehensive Map of Global Malaria
What the devastating disease looked like in 2007

Jamie Young, Streaming Norms
A new lifestreaming application on the Web, and reflections on social norms and behavior change

From the Head of Zeus Jones, Culture, The Last Advantage of the Company?
Companies versus collectives – the ability to celebrate differences while engaging in a community of practice.

Stephanie West Allen, Some Hard Questions about Neurolaw: If you are interested in law and neuroscience, read this article
Hard in the sense of critical – mind not as a place (where is it located?) but as “a diverse array of abilities exercised by a person”

All in the Mind, The Modern Teenager – Marvel or Myth?
The debate is on in this podcast

Alex Doman, The Musical Cure
Will music ever be prescribed as medicine? Steps forward.

Rony Caryn Rabin, Proximity to Fast Food a Factor in Student Obesity
An important new study – alongside social networks, geographic proximity makes a difference in calorie intake and thus weight

Nestor Lopez-Duran, Depressed Kids Accumulate Stressful Events in Early Childhood
Depressed children accumulated more life events by age 7 than non-depressed 17 year old adolescents. The accumulation of events might overwhelm resiliency

Algis Valiunas, The Great Breath of Hell
What is the experience of madness like? This New Atlantis article explores mental illness and how we treat it.

Jim Holt, Get Smart
A review of Richard Nisbett’s new book, Intelligence and How to Get It

Associated Press, Honda Connects Brain Thoughts With Robotics
And it’s wireless too! See the photo in The Guardian.

Nell Burger Kirst, Comforter and Comforted in an Unfolding Mystery
Why people matter in healing, especially for difficult or chronic conditions. Plus just a touching piece of writing.

Café Philos, “Find Your Way Home”: Surviving Prostitution
A summary of what’s known, a personal example, and a recommended book

Deric Bownds, iParticipate – Social Participation Networks
And the people who want to promote and study them

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s