Wednesday Round Up #147

From Ars Technica, an older story but one I just found – Bad at Video Games? Your Brain May Be at Fault, which discusses correlations between mid-brain structures like the caudate nucleus and ability to learn video game skills


Share Anthropology
*Excellent resource for people looking for free, online anthropological research. Some recent posts include an ethnography of Japanese alternative intimacy and open folklore, among many other topics.

Jason Baird Jackson, Anthropologies
*Using the open folklore example, here is some very intriguing advice about how to make online work count as scholarly work – a definite task facing online projects like this one, as well as the recent “Anthropologies” collection

Notes & Records of the Royal Society, Prehistoric Minds Special Issue
*Free access until next year for this set of articles that explore our views of prehistoric ancestors, both then and now

Krystal D’Costa, Ashes to Ashes: Comunitas and Religious Symbols
*How ritual and meaning come together in providing a sense of meaning to religious groups

Paul Mason, Degeneracy At Multiple Levels Of Complexity
*What is degeneracy? Thorough examination of how historical definitions of degeneracy have evolved over time and biological markers of this process.

Brain Science – The Kavli Science Journalism Workshop
*Great workshop for science journalists on the basics of how the brain works and developments in the neural sciences. Applications are due April 15th.

Emily Anthes, Of Blood Transfusions And Beastliness
*Great interview with Holly Tucker, author of Blood Work, a fascinating book on the history of blood transfusions and how debate back then regarding this procedure relates to current controversy over biotechnology.

John Hawks, Developing The Sharing Sense
*The fairness of young children slowly gives way to reality as they grow. A look at studies on cooperation and sharing among different age groups.

Harvard Gazette, Mapping the Human Genome: Ten Years After
*Meeting of researchers from various disciplines on the meaning, significance, and implications of the human genome project.

Steve Coll, The Internet: For Better Or For Worse
*Revolutionary change via the internet? The uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia have highlighted how social media played a part in organizing protests, but its impact has been overstated according to some analysts.


Benedict Carey, Lessons For Japan’s Survivors: The Psychology Of Recovery
*The devastation from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor will take time to recover from, but it’s the psychological distress from these events that will linger for years.

Hugh Gusterson, The Lessons Of Fukushima
*Problems with the nuclear reactor in Japan have sparked discussions in other countries with nuclear plants regarding safe guards and lessons learned from past nuclear accidents.

Maia Szalavitz, ‘Paradise Built in Hell:’ How Disaster Brings Out the Best in People
*An interview with author Rebecca Solnit, expert in people’s responses to disasters, who emphasizes how people come together after disasters

Video Games

Mike Fahey, The Bleak Despair Of Abject Poverty in Video Game Form
*Living on $1000 per month and other realities of living at the poverty level. New game that allows users to experience the frustrations and problems many Americans face.

Rick Trenholm, Microsoft Kinect Scrubs In To Help Surgeons Operate And The Blind See
*Video games in the operating room. Amazing applications of the Microsoft Kinect system in the medical field.

Charles Mauro, Why Angry Birds Is So Successful And Popular
*How the game, Angry Birds, can help software developers create engaging and fun experiences for users.

Peter Rubin, Complex Presents: A World Map Of Video Game Villains
*And the stigmatized countries they generally come from…

Gretchen Reynolds, How Sports May Focus the Brain
*Or at least get you across the street better – and a video game street at that…


Jonah Lehrer, The Virtues Of Play
*Playgrounds are the best classroom for preschoolers. Research on cognitive development among children and how unstructured playtime is the best way for them to grow.

Kitty Holman, Coverage Of Neuroscience In The Popular Media
*Media coverage of neuroscience is often misguided and sometimes wrong. Holman examines mistakes in recent news stories on neuroscience research.

Science Daily, Bilinguals See The World In A Different Way, Study Suggests
*Fluency in more than one language has the potential to broaden our perspective.

Micah Allen and Gary Williams, Consciousness, Plasticity, And Connectomics: The Role Of Intersubjectivity In Human Cognition
*Different perspective of consciousness as plastic and influenced by sociocultural factors.

Joann Fran, The Future Of Painkillers
*Developments in pain medicine that may bring pain relief faster and with fewer side effects.

Sean, The Unfortunate Truths Of Child Sexual Abuse
*Controversial thoughts and recommendations on how to deal with pedophiles. The author argues that simply demonizing pedophiles is counterproductive and avoids addressing the issue directly.

Miguel Nicolelis, Office Hours
*Video interview with neuroscientist, Miguel Nicolelis, on his research disproving that certain functions are only located in specific parts of the brain.

Robin Marantz, Understanding The Anxious Mind
*On writing and researching anxiety. But also a fascinating look at the drafting process for a major magazine publication, including access to the different drafts


Jason Antrosio, Anthro-Flop-ology
*Sobering catalogue of anthropologists’ attempts at reaching the public and thoughts on why they failed.

Mike, PISA And U.S. Academic Performance: The Zombie Myth That Just Won’t Die
*Reality check for those who use international test scores as indicators of how “poorly” American students are doing. Further analysis actually shows that poverty is the real reason behind low test scores.

John Postill, Free Culture At A Distance
*How the Internet is creating more opportunities for us to learn about other cultures without being in the field.

Nicholas Wade, Supremacy Of A Social Network
*What makes humans different from other primates and the uniqueness of our social networks.

Neanderthals Controlled Fire 400,000 Years Ago
*The “invention” of fire and archaeological evidence of fire building among Neanderthals.

John Hawks, Did Humans Colonize The Northern Latitudes Without Fire?
*The archaeological record shows evidence of fire building only 400,000 years ago, so how did Neanderthals survive before then? A look at the current archaeological evidence and the “discovery of fire”.

Kermit Pattison, Online Video Offers Low-Cost Marketing For Your Company
*I’d love to see more anthropologists “market” their work using online videos. Here’s some good advice that could be adapted from the business world

Selina, 2 Languages In Peaceful Coexistence
*Research showing that bilingualism can occur within the same geographic area, if they are equally spoken in the population.

Matt Soniak, Learning From Tinka
*Scratching in hard to reach places is difficult for most of us, but if your hands are permanently damaged? Video footage of a disabled chimpanzee, who found a new method for scratching himself, which other chimpanzees picked up.

Anthropologists Not Keen On Human Terrain Systems
*Al-Jazeera has picked up on US anthropologists’ criticisms of the Human Terrain System and how this has affected the military’s ability to recruit anthropologists.

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One Response to Wednesday Round Up #147

  1. Pingback: Neandertals, Denisovans, and Anthropology 101 | Living Anthropologically

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