Wednesday Round Up #55

I’m off to a conference, so you’re getting the Wednesday round up a day early. The typical stuff on brain and anthro, plus some happiness, eating and other stuff thrown in. Enjoy!

Top of the List

Mo Costandi, Experience Induces Global Reorganization of Brain Circuitry
Plasticity in action, now showing that small changes can produce bigger changes elsewhere

Hugh Gusterson, Empire of Bases
The global reach of the US military. It’s no longer the military-industry complex, it’s just the military complex. It’s hard to fathom, and all that money that might be spent differently…

Dave Munger, Training in Working Memory Can Improve Preschoolers’ Performance in a Variety of Tasks
The title says it all. Train visual working memory, get benefits elsewhere.

Brian McKenna, How Anthropology Disparages Journalism
A call for anthropology to engage what could be one of its closest allies, as well as to take on what journalism offers for getting our message beyond the Ivory Tower

Gary Sherman and Gerald Clore, Clean and Virtuous: When Physical Purity Becomes Moral Purity
Scientific American: “How “embodied” metaphors, rooted in our physical understanding of abstract concepts, shape our view of the world.”


Deric Bownds, The Myth of Language Universals
Deric is as intrigued by this new Behavioral and Brain Science target article as I am, The Myth of Language Universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science

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Wednesday Round Up #54

Top of the list, depression, anthropology, brain, philosophy and digital things this week. Enjoy.

Top of the List

Stefano Ghirlanda et al., Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans
The title and research made me laugh – but this pdf does help skewer the “face adaptation” notion of evolutionary psychology. Those chickens are checking us out!

Michael Pollan, Michael Pollan Wants Your Food Rules
The writer and food reform advocate wants your insights – how can accumulated wisdom of cultural and family traditions help us to a healthier way of growing and consuming our food. Let him know by leaving a comment.

John Tierney, Rappin’ for Science
Get your Evo Devo and Hox genes on!

Comparative Humanities Program, From the Brain to Human Culture: Intersections between the Humanities and Neuroscience
Program for this 2007 conference that I wished I had attended. Lots of people I didn’t know about doing interdisciplinary work.

Ed Yong, East Meets West: How the Brain Unites Us All
New Scientist article on culture and cognition research. Good at critiquing the East/West generalizations and advocating a more localized view. Mind Hacks provides a favorable reaction, Mouse Trap a critical one.

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Wednesday Round Up #53

Onto year two with the top stuff, then plenty of good criticism, followed by children and development, biology, brain, social science, and obesity. Enjoy.

Top of the List

John Noble Wilford, Prints Show a Modern Foot in Prehumans
Fossilized footprints from 1.5 million years ago. Very cool.

SciTalks: Smart People on Cool Topics – Cognitive Science
Links to cognitive science videos from leading researchers and intellectuals, generally based on public lectures they have given or on profiles or interviews on public television. You can check out Antonio, Daniel Dennett, mirror neurons, and much more.

Dresden Codak
A cool online cartoon series – philosophy, science and mind through an intriguing cast of characters

Jonah Lehrer, A Review: “Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From the Biology of Consciousness”
A great review of a fascinating new book by Alva Noe


David Dobbs, “Critical Neuroscience” and the Discomfort of Being Studied
Neuron Culture on why critical neuroscience matters, and how it might grow (including a possible name change)

David DiSalvo, What is Literary Darwinism? An Interview with Joseph Carroll
The founder of the field over at NeuroNarrative. Quite an interesting discussion of the relations between evolutionary, cultural and literary analyses

Melissa Lafsky, Worst Science Article Ever? Women “Evolved” to Love Shopping
It does deserve a place in the hall of shame…

Rebecca at Stepchick, Cat Child Found in Cave!
More science debunking from a very entertaining site

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Wednesday Round Up #52

It’s simple – favs, brain, anthro. A good way to finish off one year of this.

Top of the List

The Horizon Report: 2009 Edition
The latest edition on the coming trends in the increasing convergence of new media and education. It’s a big report, and they have an executive summary, as well as discussion of trends over the short, medium and longer term.

Cogprints: Cognitive Science E-Print Archive
Self-archived electronic versions of papers in the areas of psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and more

NPR, ‘Sons of Gandhi’ Take to Brazil Streets for Carnival
Peace, love and sex in Salvador’s oldest and largest parade group

The Neurocritic, Very Gradual Change We Can Believe In
Darwin in Obama street colors… very clever

Tara Parker-Pope, The 3 R’s? A Fourth Is Crucial, Too: Recess
Recess helps kids learn better – and now there are studies to back it up, particularly focusing on how attention works


David Dobbs, This IS Rock-It Science: Scientists to rock out March 3, NYC
Joseph LeDoux and the Amygdaloids rock in this video – prefaced by a lecture by LeDoux on emotions, brain wiring, and control

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Wednesday Round Up #51

Some meaty favorites, an interdisciplinary fix of ethnography, resources for those of you interested in Colombia (including some great music!), and then the brain and anthropology. Enjoy.

Top of the List

Elizabeth Rudd et al., Social Science PhDs Five Years Out: The Anthropology Report
The pdf of a large-scale survey on early careers among recent PhD anthro grads

C. Liston et al., Psychosocial Stress Reversibly Disrupts Prefrontal Processing and Attentional Control
PNAS full-text paper by one of the leading groups in the field – one month of chronic stress produces impairment in human adults. And I am already thinking about summer break. But really another piece in the puzzle of how societal faultlines drive unequal outcomes.

Junk Food Science, What You Didn’t Hear about the Latest Study of Sudden and Unexpected Infant Deaths
Great meditation on statistics, measurements and ideology: “looking closely at the CDC study, there is a lot of missing data, negating the ability to soundly support much of the claims and conclusions being made in the media.”

David DiSalvo, Welcome to the Age of the Neuron Chip
Getting neurons to grow in detailed patterns on a silicon chip – is this the future of repairing or even augmenting brain function? Plus a couple cool videos.


Jack Katz, From How to Why: On Luminous Description and Causal Inference in Ethnography (Part 1)
Pdf of this luminous 2001 article. You can see more of Katz’s writings here.

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Wednesday Round Up #50

This week it’s back to normal – some favorites, then brain and anthropology, rounded out with sports.

Top of the List

Pink Tentacle, Edo-Period Kappa Sketches
The Japanese creature of legend seen in fantastical illustrations

BrainHood Project – Neurocultures
The intersection of neuroscience and artistic production – a collaborative endeavor

Doomsday Lab, The Enteric Nervous System, Our Gastrointestinal Overlord
One billion neurons at work! Brings new light to the old adage, The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Sean Mallin, If Bailed-Out Bankers Were Treated Like Welfare Recipients…
One of the funniest and most apt cartoons I’ve seen about the financial crisis


Pam Beluck, In New Procedure, Artificial Arm Listens to Brain
It’s all about connections, connections, connections

Becoming Human: Brain, Mind and Emergence
Videos from the Stanford conference with some heavy hitters

PhysOrg, Readers Build Vivid Mental Simulations of Narrative Situations, Brain Scans Suggest
Lots of other fields have already told us this – but it’s nice to see those brain areas light up anyway

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