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A Balancing Act
Published 10/21/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Genevieve Miller
About the Author Greg Downey is a professor and the head of the Anthropology Department at Macquarie University in Australia.  He completed his MA and PhD at the University of Chicago, focusing on how skill acquisition leads to biocultural modifications to the nervous system and body.  He spent several years in Brazil doing field research as an apprentice in capoeira, which led to his book chapter Balancing between Cultures:  Equilibrium in Capoeira. What is Capoeira? Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art form that combines elements of fighting, dancing, rhythm, and music.  It is sometimes played as a game, a ritualized form of combat that is a constant flow of movement between the two opponents as they react to each other.  No matter what the reason, someone training in capoeira must have or develop a good sense of equilibrium, for this fighting form includes a great deal of flips and inverted... read more ❯
GAME ON: Sport, Play, and Healthy Competition
Published 10/20/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Camille Morgan
Recently I've been thinking a lot about ways of knowing. Different fields prioritize different forms of knowledge. For a field like neuroanthropology, and anthropology more generally, there has been a struggle to define how we should know what we know. Personally, I believe that a healthy dose of both subjective contextual experience and objective neuroscience are necessary for a more complete understanding of phenomena. Leslie L. Heywood also calls for this approach in her 2011 article "Affective infrastructures: toward a cultural neuropsychology of sport." Leslie L. Heywood is a true example of the discipline-defying researcher. She holds a B.A. and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine. All the same, her work is infused with a hearty interest in affective... read more ❯
William R. Leonard: The Evolution of Human Nutrition
Published 10/19/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author aeschmitt
William R. Leonard is a leading anthropologist in the field of human nutrition. He was born in Jamestown, NY and received his PhD in biological anthropology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1987. He is now an Abraham Harris Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Chair of Anthropology at Northwestern University. He is also the Director of the Global Health Studies Program. Much of his research focuses on nutrition, energetics, and child growth in both modern and prehistoric human populations. He has traveled and studied in regions of South America, including Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and also Siberia. In these regions, Leonard conducts research on population adaptation to their specific nutritional environment and how these adaptations affect their health, as well... read more ❯
UAAC Social
Published 10/16/2014 in The UA Anthropology Club
Author jlfunkhouser
Wednesday night we hosted a mid-semester social to get everyone together and relax a bit after midterms. Club members took a break and enjoyed pizza, snacks, and The Lego Movie. Thank you Brass (and Angelica!) for organizing such a nice event! "Instruction to fit in, have everyone like you, and always be happy. Step 1: Breathe!" read more ❯
Calcium and Vitamin D for Obesity: A Review of Randomized Control Trials (RCT's)
Published 10/16/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author spcannon
The human body is very complex, yet simple mechanism. The way in which cholesterol (fats), minerals, and vitamins contribute to the nutrients within the body range. The human body is made of millions of cells that are directed by DNA to make certain proteins, which then code for the insertion of amino acids (polypeptide chains). These amino acids then contribute to enzyme regulation and the production of hormones throughout the body. All of these components contribute to cell nutrients, the amino acids that our bodies are not capable of making must be consumed through foods. When the body does not consume the right amount of amino acid or vitamin supplement, it begins to become insufficient and incapable of ridding the body of toxic materials, as well producing a healthy immune system. In all, the way you eat, the amount of water consumed, and your ability to help the body rid... read more ❯
Does Developmental Religious Ritual or Tattooing Inoculate You Against Later Stress?
Published 10/16/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Christopher Lynn
In live Tweeting from today's Neuroanthropology discussion, we were joined online by anthropological primatologists Katie Hinde, Julianne Rutherford, & Amanda Dettmer. Apropos of a comment by a classmate, Lauren Nolan pointed out studies suggesting that prenatal glucocorticoid exposure supposedly programmed those individuals to be more anxious. I thought about the role ritualized stress in the form of speaking in tongues seems to play in exercising (not exorcising) the homeostatic system so that the activation threshold is higher & wondered if prenatal exposure might actually habituate the infant. To which smarty-pants Katie piped in: She suggested Amanda Dettmer join the conversation, who provided some awesome sources (off the top of her head, Tweet-ready!). Katie also wrangled Julianne Rutherford to join the conversation from a plane flying back from China. Miraculously, somehow, Julianne was able to do that. This gave me some reading to do while I walked the dog. Seriously, technology is wonderful. I looked... read more ❯
Public Health and Climate Change Adaptation at the Federal Level
Published 10/15/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author spcannon
In this week’s reading, climate change and adaption among humans was the issue at hand. We learned that human-occupied environments of today are extremely different from those of tropical forests beginnings as well, historical Neanderthals. Within environments, one’s body will either adapt to hot or cold conditions. The way in which the body adapts to these environments is known as thermoregulation in correspondence with homeostasis. They body reacts based solely on its environment. With this aspect, we can also expand this knowledge into broader realms of nutrition. In direct relation with body temperature, the contraction of muscles, and acclimatization, what is put into the body helps regulate certain temperatures. Ecologically speaking, agricultural production is also based on particular environmental conditions. Without the production of fruits, vegetables, and domesticated farm animals, the average human body cannot exist very long in strenuous environments of excess heat or extreme cold. This brings to... read more ❯
Companionship and Art in Mother-Infant Interactions
Published 10/14/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Taylor Burbach
Colwyn Trevarthen is Emeritus Professor of child psychology and psychobiology at the University of Edinburgh. He originally trained in biology and studied infancy in Harvard in the late 1960s. In his talk "Born for Art, and the Joyful Companionship of Fiction," Trevarthen makes a case for mother-infant interactions as facilitating creativity. Mother-infant interactions take place even before birth, when mothers will speak to their unborn children. This behavior is rewarded when infants recognize their mother's voice. Subsequent interactions between mothers and their infants are mutually beneficial and have qualities of "communicative musicality," pulse," and "narrative." These are all qualities of art and require creative collaboration between the mother and infant. Trevarthen doesn't believe that the interaction was limited to mothers and infants. He believes other family members observed these interactions and reacted positively and creatively, continuing to foster play activity in infants and therefore facilitate... read more ❯
The Bribri and the way of Siwa
Published 10/14/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
Sometimes while searching frantically through the University libraries’ databases for peer-reviewed journal articles you find that pot of gold under the rainbow. I had a moment like that this morning; I had been searching for peer-reviewed articles which contain information concerning the recent history of the Bribri. This information has been extremely difficult to find. I have been patching together information I have found in websites and books, but I've been unhappy with either the sources of my material or the information contained therein. This morning my hard work paid off and I found an article written by Polly J. Posas entitled “Shocks and Bribri agriculture past and present.” In this article, which mostly focuses on Bribri agriculture, Posas includes data gleaned from editorials written at the University of Costa Rica and a couple of books written in Spanish which I have not been able to gain access to. This... read more ❯
2014 Native American Festival
Published 10/13/2014 in The UA Anthropology Club
Author jlfunkhouser
The Moundville Archaeological Park, located in Moundville, Alabama, has an annual Native American Festival designed to celebrate the region's rich Native American heritage. This year's celebration was particularly significant because 2014 marks both the 75th anniversary of the Moundville Park and the 25th anniversary of the Moundville Festival! The UA Department of Anthropology has a long history of working with the park, so every year UA Anthropology Club members volunteer for this event. This year we had 35 fantastic volunteers assisting the park - and thank goodness with 12,058 people visiting the festival this year (up 22% from last year!). Group... read more ❯
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