Wednesday Round Up #107

This week it’s the tops, mind, compulsions, fMRI, and anthropology. Enjoy.

Top of the List

Nicolas Baumard, Cognition and Culture Reader
Great collection of articles that cover the field of Cognition and Culture.

John Rich, Doctor Works to get Young Man out of ‘Wrong Place’
NPR show featuring the author of Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men. Rich explores the reasons why so many young African American men are ending up in hospitals with various injuries. He seeks to find a better life for these men.

Dan Hope, iPhone Addictive, Survey Reveals
The anthropologist Tanya Luhrman surveys Stanford students. Looks like the iPhone can be addictive. Like seriously. And the story even makes it to the always funny radio show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – check out the Limericks!

Elizabeth Green, Building a Better Teacher
I liked this thought-provoking piece on how to improve schools through improving teaching skills.

John Pavlus, The Science (Fiction) of Embodied Cognition
Embodied cognition demonstrated through Avatar!

Rob Nixon, Literature for Real
The draw of the real – can anthropologists learn something from creative nonfiction? For more on the fiction/nonfiction debate, head over to Blue to Blue’s Sometimes a Fantasy

Mind

Marcus Raichle, The Brain’s Dark Energy
At Scientific American, one of the main researchers on the brain’s default network explains its importance

Judith Warner, Concocting a Cure for Kids with Issues
Vision therapy for learning and behavior problems. Quite interesting for how it pushes what we mean by “vision” and how perception/processing problems can play a role in things we normally confine to “learning”

Jesse Bering, If Darwin Were A Sports Psychologist: Evolution and Athletics
Why do we love and care so much about sports? Why do we care so much about displays of physical and mental prowess?

Jonah Lehrer, Inequality Aversion
The ultimatum game and the importance of starting conditions, as seen through the brain

Mo Costandi, Neurosurgical Patients Get Closer to God
This article explores… “Removal of specific parts of the brain can induce increases in a personality trait which predisposes people to spirituality, according to a new clinical study by Italian researchers.”

David Dobbs, Does Depression have an Upside? It’s Complicated.
Another take on Lehrer’s evolution explains depression piece – not quite so simple…

Compulsions

Jonah Lehrer, Marijuana and Divergent Thinking
Looking at the possibilities of self-medicating ourselves into the ideal mood

Sharon Begley, Forget the Cocaine Vaccine
Why other low-tech treatments may be better than the vaccine for those who are addicted to cocaine.

Christian Science Monitor’s Editorial Board, Marijuana Legalization? A White House Rebuttal, Finally
The Obama White House finally lays out its most detailed, logical confutation to arguments for marijuana legalization – countering a movement that is gaining momentum at the state level.

Stephen Totilo, The Next Big Thing in Video Games Might be Fear of Embarrassment
Maybe fun isn’t the key ingredient that makes people love video games. What’s so intriguing about FarmVille on Facebook?

Michael McWhertor, Civilization Creator Explains Why Everything Game Devs Know is Wrong
The psychology of game design

fMRI

Neurocritic, Friston is Freudian
Karl Friston is one of the most prominent researchers in the field of neuroimaging. Now he’s looking to psychoanalysis for ideas.

Blog Archive, fMRI Becomes Big, Big Science
The growing popularity of fMRIs as shown through teams of researchers

Martin Metzmacher, Dan Fitzgerald About fMRI – Video Interview
A video explaining the basics of fMRI

Anthropology

Eugene Raikhel, An Interview with Marcia Inhorn
Marcia Inhorn’s biography and personal encounters in the field of medical anthropology. She discusses such things as overpopulation and technology for male infertility.

Pleiotropy, Putting Together a Curriculum in Evolutionary Medicine
Research on evolutionary medicine and why it is important.

Jim Holt, A Word About the Wise
What is wisdom? A review of the new book Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

Greg Laden, The Paper: “Science blogs and public engagement with science: practices, challenges, and opportunities”
Laden examines the paper by Inna Kouper, and adds some ideas and criticisms of his own about science blogging. You can get the actual paper, which looks at 10 different science blogs, here

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