The Smithsonian is featuring an article by Laura Helmuth on Beauty of the Brain, where this image of the brain’s blood vessels comes from. You can jump to the first one here, which is of the hippocampus.
Bert Timmermans et al., Towards A Neuroscience Of Social Interaction
*Call for papers in Frontiers magazine for a special issue devoted to research on social cognition from multiple perspectives.
Mark Changizi, The Next Giant Leap
*Are we going to evolve into mutants one day? Predicting our evolutionary future using the concept of neuronal recycling and how culture plays a role.
Greg Laden, La Falsedad De Los Universales Humanos
*The “truth” about human universals and why it’s still a useful concept, despite its drawbacks.
Dave Gilson and Carolyn Perot, It’s The Inequality, Stupid
*Graphical representations of how wealth is unevenly distributed in the U.S. Shocking statistics that show how skewed income distribution is in our country.
Eugene Raikhel, Personhood In A Neurobiological Age
*Podcasts from a recent conference on neuroscience and society at the London School of Economics.
Heather Lende, Life Lessons: Caring For An Elderly Dog
*Touching and witty account of caring for an aging family pet.
Heather Lende, Hearts That Thrive In Winter
*Protecting the heart through singing, Tai Chi, and avoiding farm raised fish.
Kate Clancy, Why I’m An Activist Scientist For Women’s Health
*Great post on how scientists can be activists, especially in the field of women’s health, where there are unfortunately many myths about women’s bodies.
Carolyn Abraham, How The Diabetes-Linked ‘Thrifty Gene’ Triumphed With Prejudice Over Proof
*The thrifty gene hypothesis is slowly being discredited due to difficulty in locating genes responsible for diabetes and obesity. Health advocates argue that this will allow interventions to address the social explanations for these epidemics rather than simply blaming our genes.
Simon Romero, In Colombia, New Gold Rush Fuels Old Conflict
*How the gold trade is helping to fuel the conflict in Colombia.
David Dobbs, Is Cognitive Science Full of Crap?
*It depends on the research. And that makes it like most of science
Moheb Costandi, ‘Broken Mirror’ Concept of Autism Challenged
*Great overview of what we know about mirror neurons, and how they might (and might not) play a role in autism
BenGood4000, “What a tuuune!” – A Scientifically Good Song
* “So what music is scientifically likely to result in a great night out and what is the science behind it?”
Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld, Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?
*Closer look at the AA program and evaluations of its effectiveness. While studies of AA have mixed findings, a more recent one shows that the 12-step program is comparable to cognitive therapy.
Pippin Ross, A Trip Through Insanity
*Since Lara Logan’s sexual assault in Egypt became public knowledge, more female reporters have come forward with their own accounts of being sexually assaulted while reporting. Pippin Ross, a former NPR reporter, recounts her story of being brutally raped during a story, which shattered her life and led to alcoholism.
Nina Bai, Can You Cure Yourself Of Addiction
*Charlie Sheen has publicly stated he cured himself of his addiction, but is that actually possible? Interview with a psychiatrist who has treated drug users and her opinion of self cure remedies.
Dirk Hanson, Smoking And Adolescent Attention Deficit
*New study indicating the detrimental affects of nicotine on the adolescent brain.
Drug Trafficking Trends Around The World
*Latest report from the UN on the international drug trade – some surprising trends.
Greg Allen, The ‘Oxy Express’: Florida’s Drug Abuse Epidemic
*Florida’s pill mills and lack of regulation make it at the center of the US prescription pill problem
Babara Ganzel et al., Allostasis And The Human Brain: Integrating Models Of Stress From The Social And Life Sciences
*Great article on how the brain and body respond to stress and how this affects health outcomes.
Nancy Hebben, Poverty And Brain Development During Childhood: An Approach From Cognitive Psychology And Neuroscience
*Comprehensive book on studies examining how poverty impacts the brains development in childhood.
James Rilling and Alan Sanfey, The Neuroscience Of Social Decision-Making
*A look at how we make decisions from a neuroscience perspective.
Chet Sherwood et al., Inhibitory Interneurons Of The Human Prefrontal Cortex Display Conserved Evolution Of The Phenotype And Related Genes
*Study of interneurons in the prefrontal cortex and how it may have influenced human evolution.
Casey Schwartz, The Science of Why We Cheat
*The next time you think about cheating on your significant other or on a test – beware because it may lead to a pattern of immoral behavior.
Anne Trafton, MIT– Parts Of Brain Can Switch Functions
*The flexibility and adaptability of our brains. Brain development is not as fixed as you might think.
Andrea Kuszewski, You Can Increase Your Intelligence: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Cognitive Potential
*Five principles: seek novelty, challenge yourself, think creatively, do things the hard way, network (almost sounds like a dating game…)
The Economist, Therapist-Free Therapy
“Cognitive-bias modification (CBM) appears to be effective after only a few 15-minute sessions, and involves neither drugs nor the discussion of feelings. It does not even need a therapist. All it requires is sitting in front of a computer and using a program that subtly alters harmful thought patterns.”
Internet and Anthropology
Adam Fish, The Place Of The Internet In Anthropology
*From long-term overseas stays to visiting online social networking sites, the field sites of anthropologists have broadened with the increasing use of the Internet. Read this article on what this means for anthropologists in terms of studying identity and observing virtual field sites.
Michael Smith, What Can Blogging Do For Archaeology?
*An archaeological perspective on how blogs can advance research and disseminate information to a wider audience. This is part of a “blogging carnival” where archaeologists are asked to answer a question of the week.
Colleen Morgan, Blogging Archaeology – The Carnival
*More information on the “blogging carnival”, including all the posts so far.
Elaine Silvestrini, Florida Poised to Make Big Splash in Online Education
*The push towards online education for middle and high school students
Eileen Lynch, Anthropology Alum Wins International Prize For Online Education
*Cross-disciplinary educational website that uses anthropology to reach and communicate with a diverse audience.
Camille Jackson, Your Students Love Social Media … and So Can You
*Parents and educators may have mixed feelings about social networking sites, but they’re here to stay. Some tips on you can engage with your child and understand the value of these sites.
Rex, Crazy-Ass Ethnography
*Crowd sourcing the search for ethnographies that will grab hold of students
Brian Ferguson, The Military Invasion Of Anthropology
*The Human Terrain System is a controversial issue among anthropologists, but while we may criticize this program, the Department of Defense is taking what it wants from the discipline, which may have future repercussions. Pdf of Ferguson’s powerful chapter.
Janny Chang, Where We Stand — Anthropologists, the Economy, and Agency
*Great piece from a new blogger, focusing on the fishing industry around Lake Victoria (subject of the powerful documentary, Darwin’s Nightmare).
-I also really liked Janny’s piece on public anthropology, which draws on stuff that I and others have written previously, to show why she is a public anthropologist
Lorenz, The Anthropological Comic Book
*Drawing your fieldwork in the form of a comic? Two anthropologists recently published their research as a comic book – check out this interview with one of the creators.
Tampa Bay, Prehistoric Canoe Unearthed At Weedon Island Preserve
*The first discovery of a prehistoric canoe in Florida! Watch this video on the find and what it tells us about early human settlements.
Island Tool Finds Show Early Settlers’ Diversity
*Another exciting discovery in maritime history, but this time on the West Coast. Tools found on islands of the coast of California suggest that early human inhabitants explored nearby islands.
Nathaniel Barrett, Toward An Alternative Evolutionary Theory Of Religion
*Context matters. Great article outlining the limitations of computational theory of mind perspectives in regards to the study of religion.
John Markoff, Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software
*Text analysis gets automated. What changes will this bring to the social sciences, in particular anthropology?
Anthropology at the London School of Economics
*An inside look at the LSE Anthropology Department and their approach to engaging in anthropological research.
Julien Riel-Salvatore, Obsidian Blades As Surgical Tools
*Osidian blades are actually really sharp and a 30 year study shows that they may be comparable to steel scalpels.
Kathryn Clancy, Mate Magnet Madness
*Excellent critique of a New York Times article on evolutionary psychology and mating practices. Clancy points out the methodology flaws of a study “indicating” that men are threatened by the scent of fertile women.
Science Daily, Subtle Shifts, Not Major Sweeps, Drove Human Evolution
*New evidence showing that human evolution may have been more subtle than we thought.
Tasha Eichenseher, A Culture Written In Stone And Soil
*Archaeological excavations in French Polynesia are uncovering more about the early inhabitants of the island before the arrival of Europeans.