Recent Posts

Salivary cortisol
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Camille Morgan
Note to self: there are some confounding variables out there that might activate HPAA.  Still, Hellhammer et al. (2008) stands behind the usefulness of salivary cortisol as a biomarker for stress.  The picture is just a bit more complex than we previously thought.  Hm.  That never happens. read more ❯
Education, Age, and Neurological Measures
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Bryce Fry
Lam, Eng, Rapisarda, and Subramaniam in “Formulation of the Age-Education Index” aim to determine the validity of different measures of one's education level using cognitive batteries. Unfortunately from the perspective of the proposal, their measures and methods did not have a clear relation to attention. Nevertheless, they give an important account of how neurological tests are affected by education. Most importantly for the proposal, they note that these tests are particularly influenced by language and literacy. Their focus is more on using these neurological measures and education level to assess individuals facing memory and other cognitive deficits, which is beyond the purpose of the attention proposal, but might be useful elsewhere. Lam, M., Eng, G. K., Rapisarda, A., Subramaniam, M., Kraus, M., Keefe, R. E., & Collinson, S. L. (2013). Formulation of the age–education index: Measuring age and education effects in neuropsychological performance. Psychological Assessment, 25(1), 61-70. doi:10.1037/a0030548 read more ❯
Statistically thinking
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Bryce Fry
Marambe, Vermunt, Boshuizen in their “A cross-cultural comparison of student learning patterns in higher educaiton” remind us that there are not simple models of the Asian learner, especially because of the way that education systems are set up and the impact of colonialism. They show that an ANOVA analysis of cognitive batteries, in this case the ISL, ICB, and ARPM can show differences in the use of cognitive faculties. In particular, while there was a significance between Dutch learners compared to Sri Lankan and Indonesian learners, there were almost as many differences between Sri Lankan and Indonesian students. More than just establishing the significance of their results, Marambe, Vermunt, and Boshuizen place the results in a cultural context, noting how similarities correspond to the place of the student in all of these societies, while cognitive differences match socio-cultural differences as well as the relationship between educators and educated. Because of how well... read more ❯
As I'm drinking a cup of coffee now...
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Mindy Russo
It's almost second nature to coffee-lovers everywhere: when you're stressed out, you drink more coffee. It helps you be more productive, it helps you focus, plus it helps me ward off a nasty head ache if I don't drink it. As much as many coffee-drinkers may agree to this, where is the scientific backing? Well, in light of proposal writing comes this fantastic piece of information from the study by Conway, Vickers, and Ward: Caffeine consumption increases during stressful periods of an individual's life. That is all. (Actually, this research project was pivotal in stress/caffeine/drug studies. It was quoted in almost all of my other sources) T.L., Vickers R.R. and Ward H.W. 1979 Occupational stress and variation in cigarette, coffee, and alcohol comsumption. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy. 79-132 doi: ZF51.524.002–5020. read more ❯
Perceived Stress Scale
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Mindy Russo
The following article was a great article detailing the administration of the perceived stress scale (PSS), which helps individual participants evaluate just how stressed they are in a standardized way, that can be easily statistically tested by researchers. In addition to the PSS, I was able to utilize this source to mirror my research design's survey from. It also includes a copy of the PSS in the appendix, making it really helpful for anyone who wants to see just how simple (yet effective) it is to incorporate into your research design. If anyone is looking at stressful affects in their designs, I recommend reading through it. Cohen, Sheldon, Kamarck, Tom., Mermelstein, Robin. 1983 A Global Measure of Perceived Stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 24(4):385-396 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136404 read more ❯
Thought for Thought
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Bryce Fry
In a study where you're asking students to put on a bunch of gear that they known monitors where they look and ask them to behave as normal, understanding how thinking about your thinking seemed important. Bromme, Pieschl, and Stahl in “Epistemological beliefs are standards for adaptive learning” give an account of how epistemological beliefs, meta-cognition knowledge, and meta-cognitive skill affect learning seemed like a natural choice. They go beyond the scope needed for my simple proposal, but in a more serious study, accounting for the circular nature of thought processes, especially if you are making a mechanism or schematic map of how culture, attention, sensory modalities, and learning interact, this meta-cognitive account would be indispensable. On another level, we can consider this meta-cognitive account an important means of internalizing cultural norms of thinking and even of basic neurological mechanisms such as where you should look and what you should look... read more ❯
Research Participants? Where?
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Mindy Russo
The following article provided great insight into obtaining research participants. While this study actually had participants smoke weed for the experiment, similar hemodynamic measurements were recorded that are mentioned in my proposal.  The study delves into reported reasons for cannabis use and corresponding stress involved. This study focuses on people who are frequent users. I found this research study very helpful to designing my proposal experiment. It was also a very interesting read on stress and craving cues. McRae-Clark, A.L., et al. 2011 Stress and cue-elicited craving and reactivity in marijuana-dependent individuals. Psychopharmacology. 218:49-58 read more ❯
Looking to Others: In-group attention and evaluation
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Bryce Fry
In some ways, the work of Kawakami, Williams, and Sidhy in “An eye for the I: Preferential attention to the eyes of ingroup members” builds on some of what we've talked about facial recognition from Chiao et al. in 2008, although Kawakami et al. found that more than responses to fear produce different neurological responses. I read the article hoping that they would have a method for looking at attention to the social queues and facial expressions of in-group individuals that could be adapted to the purposes of looking at a classroom of students. In the end, other methods seemed to have a clearer relation to what my proposal was interested in studying. Nevertheless, the study introduces some background information about how cultural can affect sensory modalities and attention. Kawakami, K., Williams, A., Sidhu, D., Choma, B. L., Rodriguez-Bailón, R., Cañadas, E., & Hugenberg, K. (2014). An eye for the I:... read more ❯
Interaction of Caffeine and Stress: Methodology
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Mindy Russo
I used the following article primarily for its methodology. It used a similar questionnaire regarding stress and took into account caffeine consumption as a coping mechanism under stressful conditions. While this study did not mention anything about marijuana use, I think that a parallel study could be done by my  research design that would take into account the same type of methodology used by this study. The study did, however, take into account multiple variables (men and women), which could be mirrored in my own study. St. Claire, L et al. 2010 Interactive effects of caffeine consumption and stressful circumstances on components of stress: caffeine makes men less, but women more effective as partners under stress. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 40:3106-3129 read more ❯
Caffeine is, in itself, a stress inducer
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Mindy Russo
This particular article is a great study on the differences in men and women and their responses to stress and caffeine consumption. The study had a similar dynamic of variables, and included great information on methodology. It also had a great wealth of information regarding physiological stress responses and the mechanism by which that happens. It helps support my hypothesis that caffeine consumption induces a physiological stress response on the body, thus undermining the original reason to use this particular drug.   Farag, N.H. et al. 2006 Sex differences in the hemodynamic responses to mental stress: effect of caffeine consumption. 43:337-343 read more ❯

Leave a Reply