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  • October 1, 2011
  • 03:53 PM

Entoptics or Doodles: Children of the Cave

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

There was a time when Paleolithic cave paintings were construed primarily through the lens of “art,” an interpretive stance which assumes that at least some Paleolithic peoples were “artists” who painted for pleasure. Because this lens is so subjective (and creative), all manner of interpretations were offered. Whether prosaic or fanciful, this approach raised troubling [...]... Read more »

Lewis-Williams, David, & Dowson, T.A. (1988) The Signs of All Times: Entoptic Phenomena in Upper Palaeolithic Art . Current Anthropology, 29(2), 201-245. info:/

  • October 1, 2011
  • 07:51 AM

The Recession and Death

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

The present economic crisis has led to more suicides in Europe - but fewer deaths in road traffic accidents. So says a brief report in The Lancet. The authors show that suicide rates in people under the age of 65, which have been falling for several years in Europe, rose in 2008 and again in 2009, in line with unemployment figures. The overall effect was fairly small - 2009 was no worse than 2006. It still corresponds to a 5% annual increase in most countries. In Greece, Ireland, and Latvia the ........ Read more »

Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrcke M, Coutts A, & McKee M. (2011) Effects of the 2008 recession on health: a first look at European data. Lancet, 378(9786), 124-5. PMID: 21742166  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 03:20 PM

Creativity—the disturbance that distinguishes urban ecosystems

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Mimicking nature is nothing new for human beings. Ceremonial dress and dances have long imitated totemic animals. Leonardo da Vinci’s plans for a flying machine were closely modeled on the birds he saw out his window. And more recently, nature has inspired designers of everything from velcro to solar cell installations. Cities and suburbs would [...]... Read more »

Jean Zmyslony, & Daniel Gagnon. (2000) Path analysis of spatial predictors of front-yard landscape in an anthropogenic environment. Landscape Ecology, 357-371. info:/

  • September 30, 2011
  • 10:12 AM

Ten Simple Rules paper published!

by Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio in BioinfoBlog!

The Ten Simple Rules for Getting Help from Online Scientific Communities paper just came out on the last PLoS Computational Biology issue! It has been a pleasure and an exciting experience to coordinate the writing of my first Open Collaborative … Continue reading →

Related posts:contribute to a candidate ‘Ten Simple Rules’ article A few months ago I had the idea of writing...
update on the status of the ‘Ten Simple Rules’ initiative after the first 2 weeks ........ Read more »

Dall'olio GM, Marino J, Schubert M, Keys KL, Stefan MI, Gillespie CS, Poulain P, Shameer K, Sugar R, Invergo BM.... (2011) Ten simple rules for getting help from online scientific communities. PLoS computational biology, 7(9). PMID: 21980280  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Channel James Earl Jones

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Oh that deep uniquely resonant voice! Whether reading Edgar Allen Poe or reciting Justin Bieber lyrics this voice is instantly recognizable. We remember it without even trying. Especially if we are women. Yes. If you have a deep male voice, you have an edge with (heterosexual) female jurors. If your expert or fact witness has a [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Donna Reed and James Dean?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
........ Read more »

Smith, D., Jones, BC, Feinberg, DR, & Allan, K. (2011) A modulatory effect of male voice pitch on long-term memory in women: Evidence of adaption for mate choice? . Memory and Cognition. info:/

  • September 29, 2011
  • 10:03 AM

Aim Your Damages, And Your Case, at "The Golden Mean"

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Aristotle, the original philosopher of communication, wrote in The Nicomachean Ethics about "the Golden Mean, " or the idea that virtue is often a happy medium between two vices (for example, courage is the virtue wedged between the vices of recklessness on the one hand, and cowardice on the other). More recently, Dennis Elias, an influential voice in the field of trial psychology, wrote in his blog, JuryVox, about current research showing that this thinking also applies ........ Read more »

Rodway, P.; Schepman, A.; . (2011) Applied Cognitive Psychology. info:/

  • September 27, 2011
  • 03:34 PM

The Ways We Talk About Pain

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Excerpts from the Personal Journal of Krystal D’Costa [i] Tuesday: I fell. Again. This time it was while getting out of the car. I’m not sure how I managed it. I got my foot caught on the door jamb and tumbled forward. I hit my shin—hard—against the door jamb and I think I tweaked my [...]

... Read more »

Pia Haudrup Christensen. (1999) "It Hurts": Children's Cultural Learning About Everyday Illness. Stichting Ethnofoor, 12(1), 39-52. info:/

  • September 27, 2011
  • 03:09 PM

Even Monkeys Can Tell Red from Grue

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Unsure of the difference between ochre and ecru? Mauve and maize? Don't feel bad, because there's at least one color distinction you can handle: warm versus cool colors. You may have thought it was made up by your art teacher to torment you, but the concept is biologically based and universal to cultures around the world. Even a monkey knows the difference.

Researchers led by Youping Xiao at Mount Sinai School of Medicine based their study, in part, on data from the World Color Survey. That ........ Read more »

  • September 27, 2011
  • 04:01 AM

Schizophrenia And The Developing World Revisited

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A major international study threatens to overturn what we thought we knew about schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia are more likely to get better if they live in poor countries: that's been known for about 25 years. In the 1980s, a series of pioneering World Health Organization (WHO) studies looked at the prognosis for people diagnosed with schizophrenia around the world.All of the data showed that people in developed countries were less likely to recover than those from poorer areas.T........ Read more »

Haro JM, Novick D, Bertsch J, Karagianis J, Dossenbach M, & Jones PB. (2011) Cross-national clinical and functional remission rates: Worldwide Schizophrenia Outpatient Health Outcomes (W-SOHO) study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 194-201. PMID: 21881098  

  • September 26, 2011
  • 09:03 PM

The trouble with in-laws…..

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

It has been shown that newlywed’s relationships with their in-laws are important to predicting marital success. But does this effect begin to wear off with time? ... Read more »

  • September 26, 2011
  • 05:00 PM

Empathy, distress and mindfulness

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

One of the main thrusts of the paper by Hadjistavropoulos, Craig, Duck, Cano, Goubert, Jackson, et al., is that pain communication can serve several functions – it can be an action where a message is sent or received; it can be an interaction where the message is sent, received and interpreted; or it can be … Read more... Read more »

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Craig, K., Duck, S., Cano, A., Goubert, L., Jackson, P., Mogil, J., Rainville, P., Sullivan, M., de C. Williams, A.... (2011) A biopsychosocial formulation of pain communication. Psychological Bulletin. DOI: 10.1037/a0023876  

  • September 26, 2011
  • 11:26 AM

Diagnose Your Difficult Witness

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - In the pivotal scene of “My Cousin Vinnie," a movie beloved by those who follow legal persuasion, the defense attorney, played by Joe Pesci, asks the judge permission to treat his now estranged girlfriend as a hostile witness. This is a request that the judge, with a knowing look, quickly grants. The scene provides an important reminder that even when a witness might formally be on your side, there could be one or more dynamics at work making your own witness "hostile" ........ Read more »

  • September 26, 2011
  • 08:25 AM

When facial disfiguration disgusts

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Last year, my then 16-year-old daughter volunteered at the SXSW Festival registration here in Austin. She came home after the first day and told me she had looked up from her computer workstation to assist the next person in line only to see a large birthmark covering 2/3 of his face and neck. She didn’t know [...]

Related posts:Beards and glasses: More ‘small stuff’ you might want to sweat
The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay + Black = Likable?
Maybe you better sweat the small stuff…........ Read more »

Miller, S., & Maner, J. (2011) Sick body, vigilant mind: The biological immune system activates the behavioral immune system. . Psychological Science. info:/

  • September 24, 2011
  • 06:58 PM

Language is not necessary for analogy

by Hannah Little in A Replicated Typo 2.0


Analogy is a trait thought to be uniquely human and the origin is largely unknown. Recent studies have suggested that some language trained apes can find relations between relations, which is thought to be what is at the root of analogy. However, a new study in the journal  Psychological Science  has tested baboons using shapes . . . → Read More: Language is not necessary for analogy... Read more »

  • September 24, 2011
  • 01:09 PM

Etruscan Rite & Roman Religion

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
With this famous sentence, Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins his masterful critique of political power. Less well known is another sentence from The Social Contract (1762): “No State has ever been founded without Religion serving as its base.”
My reading of history is that Rousseau was right. State-formation [...]... Read more »

Briquel, Dominique. (2007) Tages Against Jesus: Etruscan Religion in Late Roman Empire. Etruscan Studies, 10(1), 153-161. info:/

  • September 23, 2011
  • 09:32 AM

Urban forests just aren’t the same

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

If you were a squirrel living in Southeastern Wisconsin, you’d be pleasantly surprised by the state of things. In many places, there are as many—if not more—trees than there were 200 years ago. But that rosy image doesn’t tell the entire story. Comparing the forests that cover the cities and suburbs around Milwaukee—and likely in [...]... Read more »

  • September 22, 2011
  • 11:59 AM

I Can't Get No Job Satisfaction

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Job satisfaction is like a complex mathematical equation that needs to be balanced. There are many factors that contribute to the mix, both good and bad. Hopefully the good things about a job will outweigh the bad. But what are the good things that contribute to the elusive but crucial job satisfaction?... Read more »

Ariely, D., Gneezy, U., Loewenstein, G., & Mazar, N. (2009) Large Stakes and Big Mistakes. Review of Economic Studies, 76(2), 451-469. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00534.x  

  • September 22, 2011
  • 11:48 AM

Commodity Traitors: Financial Speculation on Commodities Fuels Global Insecurity

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

“Food is always more or less in demand,” wrote Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. While the founder of modern capitalism pointed out that the wealthy consume no more food than their poor neighbors, because the “desire of food is limited in every man by the narrow capacity of the human stomach,” the desire [...]

... Read more »

Marco Lagi, Yavni Bar-Yam, Karla Z. Bertrand, & Yaneer Bar-Yam. (2011) The Food Crises: A quantitative model of food prices including speculators and ethanol conversion. New England Complex Systems Institute. info:/

  • September 22, 2011
  • 09:25 AM

Careful, Your Animation May Be Promoting Hindsight

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

Standing in front of a legal fact-finder you need to visually persuade and you also need to defeat the psychological biases that can harm your case. But here is a terrible thought: What if one of the best tools of visual persuasion has the unintended side-effect of promoting an often-harmful psychological bias? Well, the bad news according to recent studies is it does. This post takes a look at the research, as well as the recommendations on creating animations that teach without biasing. ... Read more »

Florian Fessel and Neal J. Roese. (2011) Hindsight Bias, Visual Aids, and Legal Decision Making: Timing is Everything. Social and Personality Psychology Compass , 5(4), 180-193. info:/

  • September 22, 2011
  • 09:14 AM

Degeneracy, Evolution and Language

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0


Having had several months off, I thought I’d kick things off by looking at a topic that’s garnered considerable interest in evolutionary theory, known as degeneracy. As a concept, degeneracy is a well known characteristic of biological systems, and is found in the genetic code (many different nucleotide sequences encode a polypeptide) and immune responses (populations . . . → Read More: Degeneracy, Evolution and Language... Read more »

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