Daniel and I get some help on Neuroanthropology.net, not least of all from Paul Mason, but also from a whole host of other folks, including colleagues, students, long-distance collaborators, and completely innocent bystanders who do absolutely nothing to warrant inclusion. So here’s the most popular posts from 2009 that neither Daniel nor I wrote.
The majority of the posts on this list come from Daniel’s students at the University of Notre Dame. He has been doing award winning community-based research (see posts here and here), and one thing that makes it distinctive is that he gets the students to publish reports of their work online, where people from the community and others can read it. It’s a great use of this sort of virtual platform to promote serious undergraduate research, and to open up the doors of the classroom to let others peer in on what we’re doing. Daniel’s done a workshop at the American Anthropology Association on the subject as well, so I’m hoping he’ll continue to share this sort of work and his reflections on it through Neuroanthropology.net.
1. Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone by James J. McKenna — While technically from the very, very tail end of 2008, this post by our colleague at Notre Dame just keeps generating traffic. It’s a well-written, deeply important consideration of the neuroanthropological dynamics of mother-child co-sleeping (that’s in the same bed or very close by, for those of you non-parents out there). Well worth a look, especially if you’ve got a very little one in the family, or soon will have.
2. What’s the Dope on Music and Drugs? by John Barany, Abby Higgins, Melissa Lechlitner, and Joanna Schultz. Some of Daniel’s students look into the controversy about the effect of references to drugs in the lyrics of popular music. The authors point out the radically different sales figures for ‘cleaned up’ versions of the most explicit popular recordings and whether or not Michael Phelps’ problems with marijuana might have had anything to do with listening to Lil’ Wayne on his headphones before swimming for gold.
3. The Encultured Brain: Why Neuroanthropology? Why Now? by Greg Downey and Daniel Lende — Alright, but technically, it belongs somewhere because it is one of our most widely read posts. The statement we wrote for The Encultured Brain conference as an attempt to try to articulate the Big Picture. We’re still working on it, but it’s already pretty hefty.