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  • January 27, 2011
  • 04:50 PM

Cortico-thalamic dissociation in Sleep Paralysis

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

By Paul Mason
Paul Mason is a PhD student at Macquarie University and frequent contributor to Neuroanthropology.  He is well on his way to finishing his thesis, but occasionally shares his insightful columns on a wide range of topics here.  Please note that the former ‘Fattest Man in the World’ is a different Paul Mason.

Have you ever woken up and not been able to move your body? For those people who have experienced this sensation, it is unnerving, surreal, and often quite stress........ Read more »

Magnin, M., Rey, M., Bastuji, H., Guillemant, P., Mauguiere, F., & Garcia-Larrea, L. (2010) Thalamic deactivation at sleep onset precedes that of the cerebral cortex in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(8), 3829-3833. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909710107  

  • January 27, 2011
  • 07:33 AM

the linguistics of heaven and hell

by Chris in The Lousy Linguist

The value of pop culture data for legitimate research is being put to the test. Exactly what, if anything, can the reality show Big Brother tell us about language change over time?Voice Onset Time is a measure of how long you wait to begin vibrating your vocal folds after you release a stop consonant. Voiced stop consonants like /b/ and /d/ require two things: 1) stop all airflow from escaping the airway by closing the glottis and 2) after the air is released, begin vibrating the glottis (by usi........ Read more »

Max Ban, Peter Graf, & Morgan Sonderegge. (2011) Longitudinal phonetic variation in a closed system. Linguistic Society of America. info:/

  • January 27, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

‘Celebrity chavs’ like Jordan and Kerry Katona reflect the moral delinquency of white working-class girls

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

‘Celebrity chav’: Fame, femininity and social class   From European Journal of Cultural Studies   Celebrity – ‘the condition of being talked about’ seems an unavoidable part of modern life. In Britain, the media regularly report the bad behavior of celebrities. We have been informed about Jordan’s boozy nights out, Cheryl Cole’s violent attack on [...]... Read more »

Tyler, I., & Bennett, B. (2010) 'Celebrity chav': Fame, femininity and social class. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(3), 375-393. DOI: 10.1177/1367549410363203  

  • January 26, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We know that if we want higher damage awards, we would rather have jurors mad than have them sad. But with all the focus on moral psychology (and particularly disgust) we thought it would make sense to look at whether having disgusted jurors is just as good as having angry jurors. Our hunch was that mad would [...]

Related posts:Eww! That is just disgusting! (but…very interesting)
Legal decisions that tick jurors off
Propaganda, Dogmatism & Bias: Who are your jurors?
... Read more »

Russell, P., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2010) Moral anger is more flexible than moral disgust. . Social Psychological and Personality Science. info:/

  • January 26, 2011
  • 06:41 AM

Beauty-is-Good Stereotype in the Brain

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Leo Tolstoy once said, “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” And how complete is this delusion? In a recent study, Tsukiura & Cabeza (2011) provides an insight into this question by investigating the neural mechanism underlying the Beauty-is-Good stereotype. They were interested in the activity of the medial orbito frontal cortex (associated with positive stimuli, reward processing etc); the insular cortex (associated with negative stimuli, punishment processi........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

A tale of ‘shacking up’: forces affecting cohabitation

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Shacking up: an autoethnographic tale of cohabitation From Qualitative Inquiry There is little doubt the landscape of family life has changed over recent decades. As divorce rates thrive and step families are far more common, family relationships may be more complex for many compared to previous generations. This paper is an autoethnographic account of the [...]... Read more »

  • January 25, 2011
  • 02:00 PM

State of the Field: Too big, too small, just right – the Goldilocks Conundrum of Conservation

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

scale can really change perspective... take this fruit fly eye, for example, at scanning electron microscope scale - it looks like an army of hairs Scale seems like a simple term with a simple definition, a concept certainly not up for debate. Well, digging just a little deeper we find that the nuances [...]... Read more »

Jennifer Silver. (2008) Weighing in on scale: synthesizing disciplinary approaches to scale in the context of building interdisciplinary resource management. Society and Natural Resources, 21(10). info:/

  • January 25, 2011
  • 12:11 PM

The Religion Gene (II)

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In his paper purporting to show that a beneficial, baby-making “religion gene” will sweep through a population and eventually make everyone religious, Robert Rowthorn ignores this inconvenient fact: nearly everyone in the world is already religious. Here is how it breaks down:

Because fifty percent of the “Non-Religious” group is theistic but not “religious,” we can [...]... Read more »

Rowthorn, R. (2011) Religion, fertility and genes: a dual inheritance model. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2504  

  • January 25, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

The scent of a woman: subtle factors influencing human sexual attraction

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Scent of a woman men’s testosterone responses to olfactory ovulation cues From Psychological Science According to this research, odors can be a subtle factor affecting human mating, similar to the behavior of other animals. Monitoring the responses of men after smelling t-shirts worn by ovulating women, non-ovulating women and some not worn at all, they [...]... Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 07:51 PM

Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception?

by Hannah Little in A Replicated Typo 2.0


The discovery of Mirror Neurons in Macaque monkeys has lead to theories of the neurophysiological substrate of speech perception being grounded in mirror neurons. This is also relevant to the evolution of speech as if ability to perceive a rapid stream of phonemes is present in species such as macaques then this provides a foundation on which . . . → Read More: Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception?... Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 10:41 AM

In Jury Selection, Pay All Kinds of Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Watching the Wizard of Oz recently with my three (and a half!)-year-old daughter, we came to the familiar scene of the fearless Toto interrupting the Wizard’s speech by pulling back the curtain on a man furiously working levers and wheels. When Dorothy and company ignore the instruction to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” it becomes clear that what we see of the ‘wizard’ is an elaborate façade. There is a similar façade at work during jury se........ Read more »

Chang, L, . (2010) Comparing oral interviewing with self-administered computerized questionnaires. Public Opinion Quarterly, 1-14. info:/

  • January 24, 2011
  • 07:04 AM

Excuse me, potential juror, but just how big is your amygdala?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

New research touts findings that conservatives have bigger amygdalas while liberals have bigger cingulate cortices. The bigger amygdala means conservatives could be driven by fear while the bigger cingulated cortex means liberals have more decision-making power. Hmmm. Is it possible that our politics are fixed at birth? Probably not. Neuroskeptic takes a look at the [...]

Related posts:Church attendance, dirt and politics (what we don’t know about ourselves)
“Reactions vary along tradi........ Read more »

Michael D. Dodd, John R. Hibbing, & Kevin B. Smith. (2010) The politics of attention: gaze-cuing effects are moderated by political temperament. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics. info:/

  • January 24, 2011
  • 02:22 AM

Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (II): Rational Imitation in Human Infants and Human-Raised Chimps

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0


In my last post I wrote about two experiments on imitation in young children and chimpanzees by Lyons et al. (2005) and Horner & Whiten (2005).  Their results suggested that young children tend to copy both the ‘necessary’ and the ‘unnecessary’ parts of a demonstrator’s action wh0 shows them how to get a reward out . . . → Read More: Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (II): Rational Imitation in Human Infant........ Read more »

Buttelmann D, Carpenter M, Call J, & Tomasello M. (2007) Enculturated chimpanzees imitate rationally. Developmental science, 10(4). PMID: 17552931  

Gergely G, Bekkering H, & Király I. (2002) Rational imitation in preverbal infants. Nature, 415(6873), 755. PMID: 11845198  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 01:27 AM

Tipping Points and the Precautionary Principle

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

Image source: FlickrMany ecological systems have tipping points - thresholds where small changes in impacts can have very large effects on on ecosystem functioning, often in a bad way.  Lakes, for example, might show little impact from nutrient pollution until a threshold level is reached, and then massive algal blooms form that choke off many other species growth.
In the absence of knowledge of exactly how far one can push a system before reaching a tipping point, many invoke the precautio........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2011
  • 11:35 PM

Holy Wars in Holy Lands

by teofilo in Gambler's House

In the year AD 1098 a spruce tree was chopped down in the Chuska Mountains, which run roughly along what is now the border between Arizona and New Mexico.  We don’t know who cut it down, exactly, since the people living in the area at the time had no system of writing and have therefore [...]... Read more »

Rubenstein, J. (2008) Cannibals and Crusaders. French Historical Studies, 31(4), 525-552. DOI: 10.1215/00161071-2008-005  

  • January 23, 2011
  • 01:52 AM

An evolutionary explanation of consumption

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Since Thorstein Veblen’s 1899 book Theory of the Leisure Class, the economics profession has taken a somewhat mixed approach to consumption. In areas such signalling theory, Veblen’s argument that conspicuous consumption must be wasteful and expensive to be a reliable signal of wealth is well recognised. Conspicuous consumption has a purpose as a signal. However, [...]... Read more »

  • January 22, 2011
  • 09:09 AM

The causes you “like” on Facebook may actually matter

by Janelle Ward in Janelle's research blog

The book manuscript I’m currently working on for Hampton Press involves an updated section on social media. When I started my dissertation research in 2003, websites were all the rage – and the only rage. Now, organizations of all types … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 03:44 PM

Out With The Scientists, In With The Quacks (and religious zealots)

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

The Government announced this week the list... Read more »

Rolles S. (2010) An alternative to the war on drugs. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 20627976  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 03:16 PM

Prairie Dog Communication

by Richard in A Replicated Typo 2.0


A recent NPR radio show covered the research of the biosemiotician Con Slobodchikoff of the Univeristy of Arizone on prairie dog calls. The piece is very public-orientated, but still might be worth listening to.
We’ve all (I hope) heard of the vervet monkeys, which have different alarm calls for different predators, such as for leopard (Panthera pardus), martial . . . → Read More: Prairie Dog Communication... Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 07:07 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Building Trust (but not) in Ten Easy Words

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a pretty amazing yet simple and straightforward tool. We saw this idea at Neuromarketing blog in a post titled “Building Trust in Ten Easy Words” and went to find the original research to see the details so we could discuss it in the context of litigation advocacy. The Neuromarketing blog post counts out [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Be credible
Simple Jury Persuasion: Thank you for your service
Simple Jury Persuasion: Channeling Cialdini & becoming a master of s........ Read more »

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