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Fall 2014 FABBL #3: On the Mississippi Mound Trail
Published 10/30/2014 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author camedeiros
Our third FABBL of the Fall 2014 semester occurred on October 10 with Jessica Kowalski's presentation "On the Mississippi Mound Trail: A Report on Two Field Seasons of Excavations." Jessica discussed her work under the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which contracted three different universities to perform excavations over two summers for a public highway project, with the intent of building tourist signs. Her particular area included 9 sites with 14 mounds over 13 weeks of field work. The historical period covered ca. 1200-1500 AD; and her presentation focused on research issues, political economy, mortuary practices, and changes in iconography during this period. The largest problem encountered during field work was how to formulate a research design for testing about 30 mound sites. Their design looked at the project goals, time, and resources to determine chronology and construction techniques. The methods... read more ❯
Fall 2014 FABBL #2: Ecotourism in the Bribri Village of Yorkin
Published 10/30/2014 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author camedeiros
Our Fall FABBL series continued September 26 with Greg Batchelder's presentation "Estibrawpa: Ecotourism in the Bribri Village of Yorkin. Celebrating Tradition and Improving Health." Greg's presentation focused on his summer 2014 research in Costa Rica, where he learned about Estibrawpa, an ecotourism program created by the women of Yorkin, a village of about 200-250 people. Most of the men there worked on banana plantations, and therefore had to travel and remain away from home for long periods of time. This caused depression and lower health in the community, and the women in the village decided to organize an ecotourism company, in coordination with ATEC,  to create an alternative to wage labor on plantations. Men now work as guides, construction workers, organic farmers, and canoe captains to facilitate tourist visits to the village. The community has also been able to... read more ❯
Fall 2014 FABBL #1: Preliminary Results from Mound P Excavations
Published 10/29/2014 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author camedeiros
The Department's Friday Afternoon Brown Bag Lunch (FABBL) talks commenced this semester on September 12 with Erik Porth's presentation: "Some Preliminary Results from the 2012 Fall Field School Mound P Excavations." Erik started the presentation with an overview of Moundville's ceramic chronology and archaeological phases, then focused on Late Moundville (post-1450 AD) excavations at Mound P. The Late Moundville period is of particular interest because of the archaeological evidence it exhibits and lacks. Excavations at Mound P have provided the first assemblage from the entirety of the Moundville III phase, 1400-1520 AD. Erik then presented the questions that this assemblage may be able to address: Why do the symbols change or stay the same? Does mound construction really halt during Moundville III? Do they stop producing ceremonial bottles? Is there a shift in non-local exchange networks, or do they disintegrate? And, what... read more ❯
War and Dislocation: A Neuroanthropological Model of Trauma among American Veterans with Combat PTSD
Published 10/28/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Carson Patterson
About the Author  Erin P. Finley •      Ph.D. from Emory in medical anthropology •      Masters in public health, also from emory •      Investigator with VERDICT, or the Veterans Evidence-based Research Dissemination and Implementation Center at the South Texas Health care system •      Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Epidemiology •      Her research focuses on PTSD among veterans and their families. Her work has recently branched out to include the affect of relationship within the military and the American public on PTSD suffers. Trauma  All trauma starts of as “the sensory and perceptual experience of danger.” That danger can come in any form, from some thing sudden and jarring to something constant and repetitive that requires the person experiencing it to always be on high alert. Regardless of the form that it comes in, trauma comes down to two... read more ❯
Toward an Applied Neuroanthropology of Psychosis: The interplay of Culture, Brains, and Experience
Published 10/28/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Lauren Nolan
About the author Neely  Anne Laurenzo Myers is an assistant professor at Southern Methodist University.  She received her PhD from the University of Chicago’s department of Comparative Human Development in 2009.  Dr. Myers specializes in psychiatric anthropology and applied neuroanthropology with interests in mental health especially among underserved populations. Applied Neuroanthropology of Psychosis The purpose of applying neuroanthropology to psychosis or to mental health more generally is really to understand the interplay between one’s culture, neurodevelopment, and life experiences.  This case study examines how everyday experiences can be integrated into neurodevelopment and lead to psychosis in certain contexts.  Applied neuroanthropology can make improvements on the current recommendations for psychotic disorders by understanding how neurodevelopment during certain life stages and relevant life experiences can interact to affect biologically vulnerable individuals.  Hopefully, new treatments and interventions can be developed to treat people earlier in the course of their psychotic disorder as people in the west... read more ❯
Measuring Depression: The CES-D
Published 10/28/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
In an earlier post I discussed methodology designed to create a measurement instrument which combines ethnographic and quantitative methods aimed at recognizing idioms of distress among individuals within a specific population. In today's post I will discuss a measurement designed to work in various contexts to measure depression. This measure is called The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). This scale was created in 1977 by Lenore Radloff. Radloff created the scale using items derived from previous depression scales. The items reflect components which were gleaned from studies of depression and include; depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, and reduced psychomotor functioning. The CES-D uses a Likert scale ranging from 0 to 3, reflecting the frequency of occurrence of the items in the scale. There are 20 items in the scale, therefore the scores range from 0 to 60. A score of 16... read more ❯
Father of Modern Epidemiology: John Snow
Published 10/26/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author kdteeter
John Snow, born in 1813, was the son of a coal-yard laborer in York, England. Snow planned to become a physician, and at fourteen, he was apprenticed to Dr. William Hardcastle. During his early years as an apprentice, he filled notebooks with his thoughts and observations on scientific subjects. In the summer of 1831, when Snow was eighteen and in his fourth year as an apprentice, an epidemic of cholera struck London. The disease, which had already killed hundreds of thousands of people on the European continent, spread north to Newcastle in October. The first symptom of cholera was queasiness, followed by stomachache, vomiting, and diarrhea so profuse that it caused victims to die of dehydration. Dr. Hardcastle had so many sick patients that he could not personally see them all, so he sent Snow to treat the many coal miners who... read more ❯
A new epidemic: Crohn's disease among young children globally
Published 10/25/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author spcannon
Human epidemiology is the study of disease, its contributions and disparities, and potential ways to help stop the spread of disease. Among the West, there are many different diseases, viruses, prions, and other contagions that are incurable. Even among all the technology, in-depth research, and major complex studying among control variables, the West is still highly undeveloped; or, at least this is what one is lead to believe. However, there are many treatments, remission possibilities, and rehabilitation methods available. Among the many incurable diseases, Crohn’s disease has begun to resurface. This reappearance however, has been among children and teenagers not adults as witnessed in the past. In the article entitled, “Pediatric Crohn’s Disease: Epidemiology, and Emerging Treatment Options”, Kansal and Smith explore Crohn’s disease and its affects globally on children ranging from 0-14 years of age. Crohn’s disease was first described as a clinical entity by Burrill B Crohn and colleagues... read more ❯
“Depresión”: What does it mean?
Published 10/21/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
During my stay in Yorkin this past summer, it was mentioned by one of the women that there used to be a lot of “depresión” in the village before they started their ecotourism project. My initial reaction was, “I wonder what exactly they mean by “depresión”?” And then I started thinking about administering the CES-D, which is a depression scale that has been used in many contexts internationally, in the community. I also knew that some way, somehow, I would have to get at exactly what they mean by “depresión” but I was a little unsure of how to do this. After my presentation of my pre-dissertation research in Yorkin, our new faculty member in the department of anthropology here at the University of Alabama, Lesley Jo Weaver, turned me on to an article she had just had published (Weaver and Kaiser 2014) describing the methodology that I was looking for. In this article she... read more ❯
Why Being Consonant With Your Personal Model Cannot Explain the Effect of Cultural Consonance
Published 10/21/2014 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Bill Dressler
At the beginning of the semester and my class, “Culture, Mind, and Behavior,” I started thinking about this topic, because this class is devoted to cognitive culture theory, including the concept of cultural consonance. Cultural consonance is the degree to which people incorporate into their own beliefs and behaviors the cultural prototypes for belief and behavior encoded in shared cognitive models. In other words, it’s how closely people match up with the culture around them.Over a number of years of research, my colleagues and I have reliably identified shared cultural models in a number of domains (e.g., family life in Brazil), and we have found that higher cultural consonance--that is, people actually, for example, believing that their own family matches the prototypical Brazilian family--is associated with better health status (such as lower stress and depression,... read more ❯

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