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Christopher D. Lynn

I'm a biological anthropologist contributing to the Department’s emphasis in biocultural medical anthropology. I received my PhD from The University at Albany (SUNY), where my dissertation research was on the relationship between glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”) and biological stress among New York Apostolic Pentecostals. I'm currently setting up broader studies that examine the neuroanthropology and behavioral ecology of Charismatic religious behavior in Alabama and Costa Rica.  The focus of much of my research is on understanding the mechanisms and psychocultural moderation of the mechanisms underlying dissociation/absorption.  Dissociation/absorption are terms for the partitioning or focusing of awareness observed or experienced in a wide array of psychocultural phenomena, from speaking in tongues and focused meditation to zoning out on television or video games to the dissociative disorders.  Another study I am conducting of fireside relaxation response tests an evolutionary model for how such capacities may be been selectively enhanced through human evolutionary history.  Finally, though not directly related to the previous studies, I am involved in testing the "innoculation hypothesis" of tattooing, which suggests that enduring tattooing may result in a beneficial immunological response.
I have taught at SUNY-Albany, Marist College (NY), SUNY-New Paltz, and Montclair State University (NJ).  At UA, I am the co-director of an Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program housed in the Anthropology Department and teach several undergraduate and graduate courses for the department, including

I also teach a few Anthropology courses for the Freshman Learning Community, Honors College, and the Blount Undergraduate Initiative:

Finally (but not lastly!), I direct the Human Behavioral Ecology Research Group (HBERG), which integrates undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in ongoing psychobiocultural research. Students interested in getting involved in HBERG research should fill out the online form here: http://anthropology.ua.edu/hberg/4/.


View Full CV Here

Contact Dr. Lynn at: cdlynn@ua.edu
Office: Office: 12 ten Hoor Hall; Lab: 37a Rowand-Johnson Hall
Phone: (205) 348-4162

Selected Publications

In press

Lynn C.D. Hearth and campfire influences on arterial blood pressure: Defraying the costs of the social brain through fireside relaxation. Evolutionary Psychology. Pdf available by e-mail.


Lynn C.D., J.J. Paris, C.A. Frye, L.M. Schell. Religious-commitment signaling and impression management amongst Pentecostals: Relationships to salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase. Journal of Cognition and Culture.


Lynn C.D., M.J. Stein, A.P.C. Bishop. Engaging undergraduates through neuroanthropological research. Anthropology Now 6(1):92-103. Pdf available by e-mail.


Lynn C.D., R.N. Pipitone, J.P. Keenan. To Thine Own Self Be False: Self-Deceptive Enhancement and Sexual Awareness Influences on Mating Success. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences 8(2):102-122, doi: 10.1037/h0097255 Pdf available by e-mail.


Spaulding K., R. Burch, C. Lynn. Evolutionary Studies reproductive successes and failures: Knowing your institutional ecology. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium 6(1):18-38. Full text pdf available.


Lynn, C.D. "The wrong Holy Ghost": Discerning the Apostolic gift of discernment. Ethos 41(2):223-247 Pdf available by e-mail.


Lynn, C.D., J. Paris, C.A. Frye, and L.M. Schell. Glossolalia is associated with difference in biomarkers of arousal and stress among Apostolic Pentecostals. Religion, Brain & Behavior 1(3):173-191. Full text pdf available.


Lynn C.D., J. Paris, C.A. Frye, and L.M. Schell. Salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol among Pentecostals on a worship and nonworship day. American Journal of Human Biology 22(6):819-822. Full text pdf available.


Lynn, C.D. Parent seeking PhD: The practicality and pitfalls of staying local. Anthropology News 49(6):16. Full text pdf available.


Lynn, C.D. Adaptive and maladaptive dissociation: An epidemiological and anthropological comparison and proposition for an expanded dissociation model. Anthropology of Consciousness 16(2):16-50. Full text pdf available.