Recent Posts

Ayahuasca: Soldiers Seeking Healing
Published 11/11/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
To repeat from my previous post: “This week in my Neuroanthropology class we are focused on tobacco use and the cultural context of addiction. This got me thinking about other mind altering substances, in particular marijuana and ayahuasca, which have both in the news recently. In the case of marijuana, the results of the midterm elections revealed that voters in three states have decided to join Colorado and Washington in legalizing various amounts of marijuana and its consumption on private property. In the case of ayahuasca, I recently watched an episode of “This is Life with Lisa Lee” in which war veterans were using ayahuasca in Peru as a method of relieving symptoms of PTSD. Being very interested in the topic of the therapeutic use of mind altering substances, I decided to catch up on my required reading and examined several articles on marijuana and ayahuasca.” Amazonian shamans use a psychedelic... read more ❯
Marijuana: Drug of Abuse?
Published 11/11/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
This week in my Neuroanthropology class we are focused on tobacco use and the cultural context of addiction. This got me thinking about other mind altering substances, in particular marijuana and ayahuasca, which have both in the news recently. In the case of marijuana, the results of the midterm elections revealed that voters in three states have decided to join Colorado and Washington in legalizing various amounts of marijuana and its consumption on private property. In the case of ayahuasca, I recently watched an episode of “This is Life with Lisa Lee” in which war veterans were using ayahuasca in Peru as a method of relieving symptoms of PTSD. Being very interested in the topic of the therapeutic use of mind altering substances, I decided to catch up on my required reading and examined several articles on marijuana and ayahuasca. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing... read more ❯
Maternal Stress + Infant Health
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
Another study worth looking more into later http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378378202000750 read more ❯
C-Section Rates in Alabama (1996)
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
This is from nearly two decades ago, and the literature was concerned that c-section rates were as high as 25%. Now the rate in Alabama overall is 38% and in some counties it's as high as 68% (per the Alabama Public Health Department link I also posted). C-sections vs vaginal birth isn't what I was considering when I wrote the proposal, but upon reconsideration it would be worth it to include vaginal birth vs c-section in the study, not just home birth vs hospital birth. This would require further research into why c-sections happen when not medically necessary and the literature on VBACs, etc. edit, corrected link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-536X.1996.tb00456.x/abstract   read more ❯
Effects of Maternal Stess on Birth Weight
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
"Independent of biomedical risk, each unit increase of prenatal life event stress (from a possible sample range of 14.7 units) was associated with a 55.03 gm decrease in infant birth weight and with a significant increase in the likelihood of low birth weight (odds ratio 1.32), and each unit increase of prenatal pregnancy anxiety (from a possible sample range of 5 units) was associated with a 3-day decrease in gestational age at birth."   http://www.ajog.org/article/0002-9378%2893%2990016-C/abstract read more ❯
CDC Birth Rates
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
My best friend for a bit, this page on the CDC website is an easy to understand and nicely presented data sheet on out-of-hospital births in the United States from data collected from 1990-2012. Notes: Out-of-hospital birth rate is low but rising (1.36%); Alabama is the 3rd lowest in the country, at only 0.39%. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db144.htm read more ❯
Alabama Public Health Pregnancy Stats
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
Lots of interesting stats on birth in Alabama. Not sure if any are relevant at this stage, but could be more useful in a discussion, depending on the results. Many different stats here are noteworthy and could lead to additional parts of this study or a new study altogether (for example what is contributing to the  50-70% c-section rates throughout different counties?!). http://www.adph.org/healthstats/index.asp?id=1513 read more ❯
Legality of Midwives
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
Quick and easy to use website to find legal status of varying classifications of midwives in the US overall as well as particular states. http://mana.org/about-midwives/legal-status-of-us-midwives read more ❯
"Cultural models, pregnancy, and stress: examining intracultural variation in Jalisco, Mexico"
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Angela Ray
This is a PhD paper that is nearly 500 pages long and not worth reading entirely at this stage in the process, but the abstract offers some insight and the table of contents helps with finding more relevant pieces. The author measures similar ideas but in Mexico and a more thoroughly pluralistic setting, and also uses a Pregnancy Related Anxiety scale I have not before seen. "Linear regression models indicate that participants who are more consonant in the model have lower levels of both PSS and PRA. Consonance is not associated with EBV antibody levels. Perceiving social support from family and non-family enhances the effect of consonance on PRA, unless perceived family support is above the mean. In this case, the effect is blunted. Social support does not moderate the effect of cultural consonance on PSS." http://purl.lib.ua.edu/2170 read more ❯
Evolutionary Theory and Anorexia Nervosa
Published 11/10/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Taylor Burbach
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a difficult disease to explain, and therefore one difficult to treat. Increasingly, evolutionary theory is being used to attempt to explain phenomena that are inadequately explained through other frameworks. Nicholas Gatward, in his 2007 article "Anorexia Nervosa: An Evolutionary Puzzle," outlines evolutionary explanations for the behavior that is archetypical of the disorder. Typically, when biological/genetic causes are discovered for a behavior, we have reason to believe there is some evolutionary reason for that variation persisting, regardless of its current expression (adaptive vs. maladaptive) in an individual. AN seems to be strictly maladaptive in any context, but Gatward argues for mechanisms that could be adaptive that play a role in the development of this disease. He proposes three different explanations for the development and maintenance of AN: (1) Threat of Exclusion, (2) Threat of Starvation, and (3) Threat of Eating. The threat of exclusion has roots in the importance of social... read more ❯

Leave a Reply