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  • January 12, 2011
  • 09:45 PM
  • 1,219 views

Chimpanzee Warfare?

by Dan Bailey in Smells Like Science

The Chimpanzees who live at the Ngogo site deep within Uganda’s Kibale National Park spend their days foraging and feeding, wrestling and playing, grooming and socializing. But every 10 to 14 days a group of males gathers and moves away from the rest of the group. They form a single-file line as they walk purposefully toward the edge of their territory, eventually striking out into the territory of a neighboring group of chimpanzees. They move in atypical silence, scanning the underbrush and ........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2011
  • 02:50 PM
  • 1,091 views

Chinese Mothers, American Anxieties and the Nature of Parenting

by David Berreby in Mind Matters


Over the weekend I read Amy Chua's paean to "Chinese parents" in The Wall Street Journal with morbid fascination. What felt morbid was Chua's "Mommie Dearest" anecdote about battling with her 7-year-old because the little girl couldn't master a difficult piano piece (which involved threatening to ...Read More
... Read more »

QUINN, N. (2003) Cultural Selves. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1001(1), 145-176. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1279.010  

  • January 11, 2011
  • 12:20 PM
  • 946 views

What Was Lost in the Fire: A Conservation Memorial

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Reconciliation Ecology:The modern conservation movement began at dawn on December 8, 1850, above the north fork of California's San Joaquin river. Soft orange light had just begun to spill over the craggy peaks of the eastern Ahwahnee mountains causing the jagged minarets to ignite like still burning embers from the Indian campfires below. All remained still inside the wigwams of the Ahwahneechee camp. But an attuned ear would have noticed ........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2011
  • 12:20 PM
  • 819 views

What Was Lost in the Fire: A Conservation Memorial

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Reconciliation Ecology:The modern conservation movement began at dawn on December 8, 1850, above the north fork of California's San Joaquin river. Soft orange light had just begun to spill over the craggy peaks of the eastern Ahwahnee mountains causing the jagged minarets to ignite like still burning embers from the Indian campfires below. All remained still inside the wigwams of the Ahwahneechee camp. But an attuned ear would have noticed ........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2011
  • 12:08 PM
  • 849 views

Fat Genes Make You Happy?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Does being heavier make you happier?An interesting new paper from a British/Danish collaboration uses a clever trick based on genetics to untangle the messy correlation between obesity and mental health.They had a huge (53,221) sample of people from Copenhagen, Denmark. It measured people's height and weight to calculate their BMI, and asked them some simple questions about their mood, such as "Do you often feel nervous or stressed?"Many previous studies have found that being overweight is corre........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 06:02 PM
  • 1,173 views

What Killed the Hominins of AL 333?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Over 36 years since its discovery in Ethiopia’s Afar Depression, the 3.2 million year old skeleton of Lucy is still the most famous in all of paleoanthropology. Older fossil humans have been found, as have more complete remains, but none have generated the same swell of interest that has virtually turned these Australopithecus afarensis bones [...]... Read more »

Anna K. Behrensmeyer. (1978) Taphonomic and Ecologic Information from Bone Weathering. Paleobiology, 4(2), 150-162. info:/

Anna K Behrensmeyer. (2008) Paleoenvironmental context of the Pliocene A.L. 333 “First Family” hominin locality, Hadar Formation, Ethiopia. GSA Special Papers, 203-214. info:/10.1130/2008.2446(09)

Kruuk, H. (2009) Surplus killing by carnivores. Journal of Zoology, 166(2), 233-244. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1972.tb04087.x  

Reno, P., McCollum, M., Meindl, R., & Lovejoy, C. (2010) An enlarged postcranial sample confirms Australopithecus afarensis dimorphism was similar to modern humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365(1556), 3355-3363. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0086  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 08:15 AM
  • 2,356 views

Delusions, odd and common: Living in the prodrome, part 2

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

Author Rachel Aviv talked at length with a number of young people who had been identified as being ‘prodromal’ for schizophrenia, experiencing periodic delusions and at risk of converting to full-blown schizophrenia, following some of the at-risk individuals for a year.  In December’s Harper’s, Aviv offered a sensitive, insightful account of their day-to-day struggles to maintain insight, recognizing which of their experiences are not real: Which way madness lies: Can psychosis be preve........ Read more »

Bauer, S., Schanda, H., Karakula, H., Olajossy-Hilkesberger, L., Rudaleviciene, P., Okribelashvili, N., Chaudhry, H., Idemudia, S., Gscheider, S., & Ritter, K. (2010) Culture and the prevalence of hallucinations in schizophrenia. Comprehensive Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.06.008  

Corcoran, C., Davidson, L., Sills-Shahar, R., Nickou, C., Malaspina, D., Miller, T., & McGlashan, T. (2003) A Qualitative Research Study of the Evolution of Symptoms in Individuals Identified as Prodromal to Psychosis. Psychiatric Quarterly, 74(4), 313-332. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026083309607  

Koenig HG. (2009) Research on religion, spirituality, and mental health: a review. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 54(5), 283-91. PMID: 19497160  

Roth, T., Lubin, F., Sodhi, M., & Kleinman, J. (2009) Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1790(9), 869-877. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2009.06.009  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 08:15 AM
  • 1,588 views

Delusions, odd and common: Living in the prodrome, part 2

by Daniel Lende in Neuroanthropology PLoS

Author Rachel Aviv talked at length with a number of young people who had been identified as being ‘prodromal’ for schizophrenia, experiencing periodic delusions and at risk of converting to full-blown schizophrenia, following some of the at-risk individuals for a year.  In December’s Harper’s, Aviv offered a sensitive, insightful account of their day-to-day struggles to maintain insight, recognizing which of their experiences are not real: Which way madness lies: Can psychosis be preve........ Read more »

Bauer, S., Schanda, H., Karakula, H., Olajossy-Hilkesberger, L., Rudaleviciene, P., Okribelashvili, N., Chaudhry, H., Idemudia, S., Gscheider, S., & Ritter, K. (2010) Culture and the prevalence of hallucinations in schizophrenia. Comprehensive Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.06.008  

Corcoran, C., Davidson, L., Sills-Shahar, R., Nickou, C., Malaspina, D., Miller, T., & McGlashan, T. (2003) A Qualitative Research Study of the Evolution of Symptoms in Individuals Identified as Prodromal to Psychosis. Psychiatric Quarterly, 74(4), 313-332. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026083309607  

Koenig HG. (2009) Research on religion, spirituality, and mental health: a review. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 54(5), 283-91. PMID: 19497160  

Roth, T., Lubin, F., Sodhi, M., & Kleinman, J. (2009) Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1790(9), 869-877. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2009.06.009  

  • January 7, 2011
  • 10:50 AM
  • 857 views

Guest post: sex-differential use of the same objects versus sex-differences in object preference

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

This is a response to the Kaylenberg and Wrangham 2010 paper on stick-carrying chimpanzees.... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 02:13 AM
  • 845 views

Human Tears Are Not Sexy

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology


Let's have a mature, adult conversation for a moment. I understand that there are lots of things in the world that turn people on in a sensual sort of way. People get aroused by the strangest things, stuff that when you hear about it you think you're being lied to. But women's teardrops are not such a fetish, at least not among the men in a recent study.
Shani Gelstein and colleagues report in the journal Science that human tears not only fail to arouse male test subjects, but the smell of tear........ Read more »

  • January 5, 2011
  • 06:37 PM
  • 2,404 views

Slipping into psychosis: living in the prodrome (part 1)

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

How might it feel to sense your own sanity eroding? Would you realize it? How might you sift the phantoms from physical reality, daydream from delusion, the irrefutable from the implausible? Or, as author Rachel Aviv puts it,
When does a strong idea take on a pathological flavor? How does a metaphysical crisis morph into a medical one? At what point does our interpretation of the world become so fixed that it no longer matters “what almost everyone else believes” [part of the definition o........ Read more »

Addington, J., Cadenhead, K., Cannon, T., Cornblatt, B., McGlashan, T., Perkins, D., Seidman, L., Tsuang, M., Walker, E., Woods, S.... (2007) North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study: A Collaborative Multisite Approach to Prodromal Schizophrenia Research. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 33(3), 665-672. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbl075  

Corcoran, C., Davidson, L., Sills-Shahar, R., Nickou, C., Malaspina, D., Miller, T., & McGlashan, T. (2003) A Qualitative Research Study of the Evolution of Symptoms in Individuals Identified as Prodromal to Psychosis. Psychiatric Quarterly, 74(4), 313-332. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026083309607  

  • January 5, 2011
  • 12:54 PM
  • 1,122 views

Archaeologists prove the secret to a successful date is knowing what is on the menu

by Alun in AlunSalt

Looking from the outside, one of the most underrated areas of archaeological research at the moment is the Archaeology of the Pacific. It’s possible to make exciting discoveries anywhere in the world. In Polynesia though, it’s hard not to. The reason is that Polynesian archaeology has an odd contradiction. There’s been some excellent research done... Read more »

Petchey, F., Spriggs, M., Leach, F., Seed, M., Sand, C., Pietrusewsky, M., & Anderson, K. (2011) Testing the human factor: radiocarbon dating the first peoples of the South Pacific. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(1), 29-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.07.029  

  • January 5, 2011
  • 11:15 AM
  • 1,023 views

"Bad-sad-bad" and other responses to death.

by SeriousMonkeyBusiness in This is Serious Monkey Business

Death--every philosopher has a take on it. But what is the take on death from a primatological perspective?... Read more »

Anderson J.R. (2010) A primatological perspective on death. American Journal of Primatology. PMID: 21197638  

  • January 5, 2011
  • 07:22 AM
  • 1,936 views

Maize mystery solved

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Joost van Heerwarden and co-workers have solved a problem in our understanding of maize domestication. Previous work had shown that maize originated from annual called teosinte, Zea mays subspecies parviglumis, a wild species that occurs in low and mid-elevation regions of south-west Mexico. This made the Rio Balsas area, where parviglumis occurs, the most likely [...]... Read more »

van Heerwaarden J, Doebley J, Briggs WH, Glaubitz JC, Goodman MM, de Jesus Sanchez Gonzalez J, & Ross-Ibarra J. (2010) Genetic signals of origin, spread, and introgression in a large sample of maize landraces. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21189301  

Matsuoka Y, Vigouroux Y, Goodman MM, Sanchez G J, Buckler E, & Doebley J. (2002) A single domestication for maize shown by multilocus microsatellite genotyping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(9), 6080-4. PMID: 11983901  

Piperno DR, Ranere AJ, Holst I, Iriarte J, & Dickau R. (2009) Starch grain and phytolith evidence for early ninth millennium B.P. maize from the Central Balsas River Valley, Mexico. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(13), 5019-24. PMID: 19307570  

  • January 4, 2011
  • 03:51 PM
  • 869 views

Around the web: cognitive sex differences

by Kate Clancy in Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology

A dissection and link round-up about cognitive sex differences.... Read more »

  • January 4, 2011
  • 02:17 PM
  • 824 views

Legend of the Killer Storks

by Laelaps in Laelaps

What makes a monster? Godzilla, Medusa, Frankenstein’s monster, Fáfnir, the ALIEN, – all these fictional fiends have disparate origins, attributes, and motivations, but they are tied together by their disregard for what we perceive as the natural order. Each is an aberrant creation – something from an earlier age, or something corrupted – that disrupts [...]... Read more »

  • January 2, 2011
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,436 views

The Language Tree

by Lucas in thoughtomics






In the 17th century, the Japanese shoguns decided that the only Westerners allowed to trade with the Japanese empire, would be the Dutch. By doing so they not only opened up their country to sugar, cotton and silk, they also unintentionally exposed the Japanese language to Dutch words and terminology. Many Dutch naval terms and words [...]... Read more »

Nelson-Sathi S, List JM, Geisler H, Fangerau H, Gray RD, Martin W, & Dagan T. (2010) Networks uncover hidden lexical borrowing in Indo-European language evolution. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21106583  

  • January 1, 2011
  • 05:31 PM
  • 766 views

01/01/2011: Looking forward and backward, so fast you may barf

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

2010 was a big year for anthropology and lawn-chair-anthropologists. There was laughter and crying, and maybe also some yelling. And smiling. Let's take a look back at some of the big events of the past year.Ancient DNA. What a great year for ancient human DNA! In April, Krause and colleagues (2010) announced the sequencing of mitochondrial DNA from a ~50,000 year old girl from Denisova in Siberia. This sequence was twice as divergent from humans as Neandertal mtDNA, which really shocked a lot o........ Read more »

Berger, L., de Ruiter, D., Churchill, S., Schmid, P., Carlson, K., Dirks, P., & Kibii, J. (2010) Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science, 328(5975), 195-204. DOI: 10.1126/science.1184944  

Cann, R., Stoneking, M., & Wilson, A. (1987) Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution. Nature, 325(6099), 31-36. DOI: 10.1038/325031a0  

Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021  

Haile-Selassie, Y., Latimer, B., Alene, M., Deino, A., Gibert, L., Melillo, S., Saylor, B., Scott, G., & Lovejoy, C. (2010) An early Australopithecus afarensis postcranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(27), 12121-12126. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1004527107  

Krause, J., Fu, Q., Good, J., Viola, B., Shunkov, M., Derevianko, A., & Pääbo, S. (2010) The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia. Nature, 464(7290), 894-897. DOI: 10.1038/nature08976  

Liu W, Jin CZ, Zhang YQ, Cai YJ, Xing S, Wu XJ, Cheng H, Edwards RL, Pan WS, Qin DG.... (2010) Human remains from Zhirendong, South China, and modern human emergence in East Asia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(45), 19201-6. PMID: 20974952  

Reich D, Green RE, Kircher M, Krause J, Patterson N, Durand EY, Viola B, Briggs AW, Stenzel U, Johnson PL.... (2010) Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Nature, 468(7327), 1053-60. PMID: 21179161  

Zalmout IS, Sanders WJ, Maclatchy LM, Gunnell GF, Al-Mufarreh YA, Ali MA, Nasser AA, Al-Masari AM, Al-Sobhi SA, Nadhra AO.... (2010) New Oligocene primate from Saudi Arabia and the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Nature, 466(7304), 360-4. PMID: 20631798  

  • December 31, 2010
  • 10:33 PM
  • 968 views

Cowboy Wash Is Not an Easy Place to Live

by teofilo in Gambler's House

If you stand at the Four Corners monument and look in the direction of Colorado you will see Sleeping Ute Mountain dominating the view.  From this direction you are looking at the southwest side of the mountain, and in front of it you see the southern piedmont.  On the right side of the piedmont, though [...]... Read more »

  • December 31, 2010
  • 05:30 PM
  • 1,039 views

Mapping the “Green Sahara”

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Guelta d’Archei, Chad. Credit: Dario Menasce. Everyone who is literate knows that the Sahara desert is the largest of its kind in the world. The chasm in cultural, biological, and physical geography is very noticeable. Northern Africa is part of the Palearctic zone, while the peoples north of the Sahara have long been part of [...]... Read more »

Drake NA, Blench RM, Armitage SJ, Bristow CS, & White KH. (2010) Ancient watercourses and biogeography of the Sahara explain the peopling of the desert. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21187416  

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