Wednesday Round Up #84

This week we get Ardi at the top, then go onto drugs (obvious transition, isn’t it?), and then anthro and mind. And hey, there’s good stuff down at the end!

Top of the List

John Hawks, Ardipithecus FAQ
John Hawks answers all your big questions about Ardi, now our earliest hominid ancestor. She’s one interesting biped! For more, outlines all 11 papers published on Ardipithecus ramidus in Science last week. The NY Times provides a general overview, and keeps track of reporting across the internet.

Juan Domínguez Duque et al., Neuroanthropology: A Humanistic Science For The Study Of The Culture–Brain Nexus
One of Greg’s student gets a paper into Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Here’s the abstract.

Ilina Singh and Nikolas Rose, Biomarkers In Psychiatry
The application of biomarkers to human behavior and psychiatric disorders brings up social and ethical issues, which must be understood using joint efforts (pdf).

Kerim, Wounds of War and the Dilemmas of Stereotype
The forces of war and military institutions come into everyday life through concepts of attachment, susceptibility and exchange.

Michael Specter, A Life Of Its Own
Where will synthetic biology lead us?

Judith Warner, The Shame Game
NY Times op-ed, which I really enjoyed as it highlights the shift from the idea that critique is enough to something more involved with life


R. Douglas Fields, Inhale Or Don’t?: Marijuana Hurts Some, Helps Others
Novel exploration implies that THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its mind-bending assets, kills budding neurons, yet strangely, the same chemical hoards neurons in adults with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dirk Hanson, Russian Heroin Addiction “Spreads Like Wildfire”
So Russia wants the US to defoliate Afghanistan

Natasha Singer, Taking The Fun Out Of Popping Pain Pills
Popping prescription pain killers is costly and a moral/ethical problem for some.

The Neurocritic, Great And Desperate Cures For Addiction
Explores different Chinese treatments for various kinds of addictions.

Desde El Manicomio, No Nos Ganan: Tratamientos Radicales Contra Las Adicciones
Extreme treatments – placebo, effective, punishment? Reflections off the Neurocritic.

Daniel Engber, Puff Daddies: More Americans Over Age 50 Are Smoking Marijuana Than Ever Before. Are My Parents Among Them?
Lighting up as an aging problem – and we’re not talking cigarettes here

Marc Lacey, Drug Wars: When A ‘Cartel’ Really Isn’t
A look into Mexico’s drug cartels. What is a cartel? Are Mexico’s drug cartels really cartels?

Julie Steenhuysen, Smoking Bans Cut Heart Attacks By A Third: Study
Public places that ban smoking can significantly reduce the number of heart attacks and improve public health. Urge for a smoking restriction law.

Laura Freberg, Binge Drinking And Back To School
The Justice Department and Laura Freberg offer their suggestions and comments on why binge drinking is bad and how to prevent it and it’s dangerous consequences. Includes a bar graph on the “Frequency of Drinking Among U.S. Adults 21 and Older”.

Maria Cheng, Half Of Addicts Quit After Six Months Of Treatment
In England treatment programs, around half of heroine and crack cocaine users quit the drugs after six months of treatment.


Anthropology Today: A Forum For Readers And Authors
An experimental endeavor to get dialogue going between authors, readers, and the editors of Anthropology Today.

John McCreery, Case Based Methods: A New Paradigm for Social Science? For Anthropology?
A refutation of social science’s view on the conventional “law of universals”.

Primate Gesture Center
A place for people interested in gestural communication to visit – click on over there

Ryan Anderson, Ethnographix: Anthropology Of Grad School (Continued)
Amidst graduate school stresses, pondering of “What is anthropology for? What can be done with it?” Plus a great early video on Stephen Jay Gould.

Robert D. Kaplan, Why I Love Al Jazeera
The Qatar-based Arab TV channel’s diverse internationalism is a reprimand to the ominous forecasts about the end of foreign news as we know it.

Craig Lambert, “Justice”—On Air, in Books, Online
Michael Sandel takes his enormously popular “Justice” course online, on TV and into a book. What’s really interesting for me is to watch Sandel as a teacher – there is a reason why his class is so engaging.

Jose Tapia Granados and Ana Diez Roux, Life And Death During The Great Depression
“The impact of economic downturns on population health. The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most important economic downturn in the U.S. in the twentieth century.”

Jinny Gudmundsen, Food Force: The Game
The rules of THE GAME – It’s up to the players to save and resurrect the island of Sheylan. A UN game looking at food and food shortages.


John Medina, Functional MRI, Round 3: Six Items to Keep in Mind
Be concerned, very concerned, when construing data obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technologies.

William Lu, The Quantum Lobe Chronicles: Bye Bye Modular, Hello Cognit
Why the modular modeling of the brain has failed and what a cognit is.

Frontier Psychiatrist, Global Psychiatry
Mental disorders – going beyond the universal vs. culture-bound dichotomy

Jonah Lehrer, Nature And Compassion
The powerful mental benefits of cooperating with nature and an experiment that confirms it.

EthanBromberg-Martin and Okihide Hikosaka, Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Signal Preference For Advance Information About Upcoming Rewards
Dopamine neurons process both basic and cognitive rewards, and now it looks like the reward paradigm might need to also embrace information-seeking.

Deric Bownds, How Our Brain Remembers The Consequences Of Our Actions
The prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia may be crucial brain areas for accumulating information about action–outcome associations.

Body in Mind, Sensing Movement – The Experts Talk….
A review of kinaesthesia, the senses of limb position and limb movement.

Gloria Origgi, Gloria Origgi Reviews Jon Elster’s “Le Desinteressement”
Is it possible for a human being to act in a truly disinterested manner? A new book by Jon Elster reviewed over at Cognition and Culture

Jonathan Oxford et al, Hormonal Responses Differ When Playing Violent Video Games Against An Ingroup And Outgroup
“Men’s competitive testosterone response varies across ingroup and outgroup competitions and is muted during the former. Violent multiplayer video games may be appealing to young men because they simulate male-male coalitional competition.”

Robin Marantz Henig, Understanding The Anxious Mind
What’s making you anxious? The economy, terrorism, …? NY Times Magazine article.

Ken Weiss, Anne Buchanan and Holly Dunsworth, My Brain Is No Bigger Than A Caveman’s
Humans’ brains today are no larger than ancient humans’ brains of the past. An intelligent person does not have bigger brain size than an unintelligent human being.

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