The Latest on PLoS Neuroanthropology

We moved over to the Public Library of Science on September 1st, and so far it has gone well. However, I was just looking at Google Reader, and saw that not everyone had updated their subscription! So we are now at: http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/

Here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

Addiction & Learning: More Than Glutamate and Dopamine – Building a better understanding of how learning and memory play a role in addiction

From Good Study Habits to Better Teaching – Taking what we have learned about how students learn more effectively and applying it to my teaching in the classroom

The Narcotic Farm & Nancy Campbell – The United States’ most infamous drug prison/research laboratory, complete with a video interview with the author who helped unearth the archives and photos that tell the story of this foundational institution for drug research and policy

2 legs good, 4 legs better: Uner Tan Syndrome, part 2 – Get your crazy videos of bipedal dogs and goats, as well as Greg’s continued in-depth examination of human bipedality and the fascinating case of “the family that walks on all fours”

You can also find these posts (and more besides!):

Daniel Lende: Projects on PLoS Neuroanthropology – what I am up to over there

Wednesday Round Up #120 – the latest one

Schizophrenia and Cross-Cultural Mental Illness and Treatment – online video and posts from the Foundation for Psychocultural Research

Gonorrhea and the Clap: The Slap Down Treatment – “This might not sound like a good treatment since it involved smashing the penis.”

Aboriginal affairs & pre-human morphing: quick links – See Greg as a Homo heidelbergensis

Over at PLoS: Humans as Quadrupeds!

Greg has a great post over at our new home, PLoS Neuroanthropology:

Human, quadruped: Uner Tan Syndrome, part 1

The photos that accompanied news releases about quadrupedal people living in Turkey, members of a family that allegedly could not walk except on hands and feet, looked staged when I first saw them. Three women and one man scrambling across rocky ground, the women in brightly coloured clothing, the sky radiant blue behind them, their eyes forward and backsides high in the air – like children engaged in some sort of awkward race at a field day or sporting carnival.

For an anthropologist interested in human motor variation and adaptation, the family looked too good to be true…


UPDATE (Greg added):

I’m grateful to Daniel for posting the link, but the first post was just the straight set-up for the much more Neuroanthropology-esque second part, in which we open the discussion to include Faith the walking dog, Slijper’s Goat, Johnny Eck the ‘Half Boy,’ capoeira practitioners who crawl around, and other intriguing examples of exotic locomotion including human quadrupedalism, animal bipedalism, and human handwalking. If you want to, skip the first part, and go straight to: 2 legs good, 4 legs better: Uner Tan Syndrome, part 2.

Foodspotting

I just came across a fascinating site worthy of some gourmet exploration. Foodspotting is a site that allows readers to upload photos of food linked to geographic information and also to short descriptions of the food featured in said picture. As they say:

It’s just about the food: It’s not about the place, the price, the surroundings, the crowd or the nutritional value — it’s just about good food and where to find it.

Good food can be found anywhere: We built Foodspotting to work in any city, small town or country from the start. It encourages exploration — trying new things vs. following the crowd.

So here I can find out what dishes people are recommending in Colombia. That mazorca in the photo here is one of my favorite street foods in Colombia – this one came from the Usaquen district in Bogota.

Belgium is there, a place I really enjoy traveling.

Or in my new home city of Tampa.

So go explore food over at Foodspotting

Sites for Science and Humanities Exploration

So there is a great new aggregrator out there – Science Blogging! It provides a live feed on some of the best science content from blogs around, including Scienceblogs.com, Discover Blogs, and Scientopia.

Science Blogging is the creation of Anton Zuiker, Dave Munger, and Bora Zivkovic. Here Bora describes the initiative:

The page will aggregate RSS feeds from all the major (and some minor) science blogging networks, group blogs, aggregators and services. As the site develops further, it will also encompass other online (and offline) science communication efforts, including Twitter feeds, links to major scientific journals and magazines, ScienceOnline annual conference, and the Open Laboratory annual anthology of the best writing on science, nature and medical blogs.

If you’re more inclined to the humanities, Sympoze might be more to your tastes. Sympoze has the tagline of “social bookmarking for academics,” and while it does have categories for the natural and social sciences, most of the content/aggregation seems focused on philosophy on present.

Here is what Sympoze is about:

Sympoze is a fast and easy way for academics to collectively share, promote, and find high quality online content.

How It Works

The process starts when an academic finds something online that they like (e.g, a blog post or a paper) and submits it to Sympoze.

Once a user submits a link, the rest of the Sympoze community (also academics) can promote the content by voting it up if it’s in their discipline. Popular submissions will automatically be promoted to the front page so everyone (including non-users) can see what’s popular in various academic fields.

Since voting accounts are limited to academics who have (or are currently pursuing) graduate degrees in the various academic disciplines, the popular stories reflect the opinions of actual academics. However, everyone will be able to view the content that academics vote up and down.

Link to Science Blogging.

Link to Sympoze.

Linguistic Anthro Round Up #12

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology is featuring its round up #12, which has a great collection of posts which fall under the broad domain of language and culture, or more specifically “comparative study of the ways in which language shapes social life.”

Lots of quality posts to check out, but really it’s the collection of videos included in the round up that is the stand out. Worth it for that alone.

There is a very funny one if you have been following the parodies of Hitler/downfall. It’s over at Funny or Die, and called Hitler finds out about another Downfall parody.

Link to Linguistic Anthropology Round Up #12

Chronicle on Marc Hauser

Big update on the Marc Hauser affair, and the seriousness of the research misconduct allegations and the irony of this from the author of Moral Minds. The Chronicle for Higher Education has a piece out today which sheds light on the internal investigation and the assertions by research assistants in Hauser’s Harvard lab of misconduct.

The research assistant who analyzed the data and the graduate student decided to review the tapes themselves, without Mr. Hauser’s permission, the document says. They each coded the results independently. Their findings concurred with the conclusion that the experiment had failed: The monkeys didn’t appear to react to the change in patterns.

They then reviewed Mr. Hauser’s coding and, according to the research assistant’s statement, discovered that what he had written down bore little relation to what they had actually observed on the videotapes. He would, for instance, mark that a monkey had turned its head when the monkey didn’t so much as flinch. It wasn’t simply a case of differing interpretations, they believed: His data were just completely wrong.

Here’s the link for more – Document Sheds Light on Investigation at Harvard

And if you’re looking for more background, Nicholas Wade at the NY Times had a very good piece a week ago, In Harvard Lab Inquiry, a Raid and 3-Year Wait.

Update: Nicholas Wade came out with further coverage at NYT in the article Harvard Finds Scientist Guilty of Misconduct.

Harvard University said Friday that it had found a prominent researcher, Marc Hauser, “solely responsible” for eight instances of scientific misconduct.

Hours later, Dr. Hauser, a rising star for his explorations into cognition and morality, made his first public statement since news of the inquiry emerged last week, telling The New York Times, “I acknowledge that I made some significant mistakes” and saying he was “deeply sorry for the problems this case had caused to my students, my colleagues and my university.”

Also, you can find the entire letter/email here sent by Harvard Dean Michael Smith to the faculty, where he confirms the scientific misconduct to the entire Faculty of Arts and Sciences