Wednesday Round Up #153

The Neuroskeptic came up with this great graphic illustrating how the primary research focuses on different mental health problems by neurology vs. psychiatry-oriented journals. See the original post, with lots of great analysis, at Neurology vs Psychiatry.


Vacuous Minx, Biological Determinism, Erotica, and Romance at the WSJ
*Ogi Ogas is back at it, peddling evolutionary determinism for profit while taking on the semi-scandalous and darly fascinating topic of online porn

-If you want to see where all this crap started, check out our old post on Ogas’ maligned and unethical research, Sex, Lies and IRB Tape: Netporn to SurveyFail

Doctor Science, A Billion Made Up Conclusions
*Another critical take on Ogas, this one focusing on his recent published pop sci book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire

Catherine Lutz, Journey and Legacy of Obama’s Mother
*NY Times’ review of the new book “A Singular Woman,” the biography of Ann Dunham, anthropologist and mother to the president

Nikolas Rose, Governing Conduct In The Age Of The Brain
*Excellent talk by sociologist, Nikolas Rose, at the University of Chicago. The biosociality of brain research…

Eugene Raikhel, Talking Brains: Problems and Perspectives of the Neurosciences
*Double bonus from Somatosphere – get the audio recordings from a recent and fascinating conference

Lawrence Kirmayer, Cultural Neuroscience And The Policy Of Alterity
*Here you can go straight to the source – a great lecture on the brain, arguing that brain should be understood as part of larger political, cultural, and political systems.

Kathryn Clancy, #scimom and me
*Kate lets us know how she handles being a mom, a blogger, and a full-time professor. Inspiring, and also the real deal – she talks about the sacrifices it takes, and the essential supports that she has

Stephen Casper, Why Academics Should Blog: A College Of One’s Own
*If you’re still uncertain about starting your own blog, read this post, which provides a good overview of the some of the common arguments in support and against blogs.

Travis Saunders, Does Adult Obesity Take Root In Infancy?
*Interesting conclusions from a systematic review of articles on obesity, which looked at some of the common factors involved in predicting obesity.

Ella Davids, Bonobos Chat About Good Food
*We’re not the only foodies in the animal kingdom. Findings suggesting that bonobos communicate with each other on where to find appetizing food.

Grrl Scientist, Brains on Film
*Entertaining and fun short films about the brain from a competition sponsored by the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Paul Bolton and Alice Tang, Using Ethnographic Methods In The Selection Of Post-Disaster, Mental-Health Interventions
*The application of contextually relevant treatment models for non-Western communities struggling with post-disaster mental health problems.

Kenneth Miller et al., Beyond Trauma-Focused Psychiatric Epidemiology
*Critique of Western psychiatric models in assessing post-conflict trauma and a call for a more social constructivist approach.

Shinobu Kitayama, Actions And Personality, East and West
*Evidence of cultural differences in our brains – study comparing Caucasian and Asian Americans in how they react to other people.


John Tepleski, Channeling Margaret Mead
*Visually striking images from an ethnographic study of a community in Ghana being displaced by a dam project. The article delves into representational issues among anthropologists conducting research with indigenous populations and ethical dilemmas associated with photojournalism.

Interview With Krystal D’Costa
*Great interview with D’Costa on why she started blogging and how anthropologists contribute to digital technologies.

Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher, A Baffling Illness
*A doctor’s struggle with treating an unsual and painful disorder in a young patient, whose gut does not function normally.

Matt Walker, Chimps Mentally Map Fruit Trees
*The mental agility of chimps in remembering a particularly sweet fruit tree among 12,000 others.

Urban Anthropologist To Speak On Future Of Ground Zero
*Ground zero is a contentious and emotional issue for many and its future is still undecided. Read about how an urban anthropologist is using discourse analysis to examine debates surrounding the area.

Patricia Cohen, Technology Advances; Humans Supersize
*Interesting research project examining how developments in the size and shape of the human body are related to economic and social changes.

Allan Jalon, In A Cave With Werner Herzog
*A heavily protected and restricted cave in France with amazing art, is now available to the public through a film about the location.

Rupal Parekh, For Cultural Anthropologist Kate Barrett, A Day At The Agency Is Field Research
*A university professor makes the move to non-academic work, providing an anthropological perspective to social marketing.

Behavior Holds Clues To Design
*The value of anthropologists in technology firms. Read about how an engineering company came to appreciate the perpsective of anthropologists in designing laptops.

*If you’ve ever had to deal with unwelcome houseguests, you’ll be grateful after seeing pictures of these guests.

Surreal Moments In The Field
*Most anthropologists have had some interesting experiences in the field, like watching American sitcoms on TVs powered with car batteries or generators.

Update On Ache Land Struggle
*Some rare good news on land rights among indigenous popualulations, in this case from Paraguay.

John Hawks, “Nutcracker Man” Debunked
*Boisei ate grass! Those massive jaws and molars weren’t for crushing hard nuts, but chewing and chewing…


John Horgan, Have Researchers Really Discovered Any Genes for Behavior? Candidates Welcome
*Always a good critical take over at Cross-Check
-Horgan’s original post on the recent “The Warrior Gene” silliness, and how race inevitably rears its head, is a great read

Science Daily, Contrary to Popular Models, Sugar Is Not Burned by Self-Control Tasks
*Contrary findings to a common belief regarding the relationship between sugar and the brain.

Neuron, Interview with NIDA Director
*Excellent interview with NIDA Director on current research on addiction, including genetic factors and new treatments.

Nina Bai, Mouse Study Suggests Why Addictions Are Hard To Forget
*A new dimension to addiction treatment, which looks at it as a learning and memory disorder.

Rebecca Hardy, Is Depression Actually Good For You?
*Controversial position that depression can actually make you stronger…that is if you’re able to overcome it.

Jennifer Viegas, Brainy Birds Live The High Life In Cities
*Apparently only smart birds make it in the city, but don’t worry, for obvious reasons this study did not include pigeons.

FPR-UCLA 2010 Conference, Schizophrenia Panel
*Great panel on the cultural and biological contexts of schizophrenia.

Alan Blum, A Bedside Conversation With Wilder Penfield
*Notes from one of the last conversations with the neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield, on his life and thoughts on predestined paths.

David Dobbs, Tiger Moms And Orchid Children
*The Tiger Mom book has caused an uproar among parents, who view the parenting style as abusive and harmful, but are some children built to withstand and thrive under harsh conditions?

Massimo Pigliucci, On Ignorance And The Need Of Critical Thinking In Our Times
*Some hard truths about the current state of our education system and how we’re inundated with information, but unfortunately lacking in critical thinking skills.

Jane Brody, A Thief That Robs The Brain Of Language
*A rare form of dementia, which can affect the brian’s ability to process langauge and retain memory., I Control Therefore I Am: Chimps Self-aware, Says Study
*New experiments extend just how much chimps are self-aware. They can recognize what they did, versus another pattern, in playing a tracing cursor game

Mark Long, Quest for Vaccines to Treat Addiction
*Short story – it’s going to be a long quest. But interesting to read about efforts to teach the immune system to tackle drugs as foreign invaders

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