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Culture Specific Terms for Mental Health
Published 10/1/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
During my time volunteering as a guide for the Estibrawpa project in the Bribri village of Yorkin, Costa Rica, the women explained that they started the project to address illness in the community. The first type of illnesses they mentioned came about as a result of the men working with pesticides and fertilizers on plantain and banana plantations. In particular they noted skin and respiratory ailments. The second form of illness they described as “depresión.” As a medical anthropologist I am acutely aware that this term may mean something totally different in this context than how it is understood in the Western medical model. The DSM-IV TR describes a major depressive episode as a period of at least two weeks in duration in which occurs a depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in activities. The individual must also experience at least four additional symptoms that include changes... read more ❯
Mirrors: For more than just selfies.
Published 2/24/2014 in Primate Religion & Human Consciousness
Author Lance
First, here's some kids being kids. It shouldn't surprise you that we aren't born with the ability to recognize our own reflection. Self-recognition is a skill that can develop as early as 18 months in children. In their article, Self-Awareness, Social Intelligence and Schizophrenia, Gordon Gallup and his colleagues delve deep into just what it means to be able to identify yourself in a reflection. So,  you're not a vampire. What else? The evidence provided by Gallup and his colleagues strongly suggests that the ability to recognize yourself in a mirror is closely related to your ability to conceive yourself as an individual, and infer information about the mental states of other individuals. As a matter of fact, self-recognition typically develops in humans around the same time as primitive social intelligence. In other words, whenever you can recognize yourself, you can try and piece together what other people are thinking or feeling. On the flip... read more ❯
Plaque Attack: How Food Fought Back
Published 12/5/2012 in Brown Vs. The Blog of Education
Author ashleystewart
Not really "fought," persay, but It rhymed so I typed it. Anyway, this post is about: Dental Calculus! Which I chose for two reasons: 1) It's interesting and 2) I didn't get to show you guys the picture of calculus in Methods the other day. More importantly, this post is about John Hawks' blog, which is phenomenal - I explored it for a long time trying to figure out what I wanted to talk about! There's a lot happening over there. Anywho, I'm going to be talking about THIS post by John Hawks titled "Tartar Control and Neandertal Plant Use." First thing's first. Here's the picture I didn't get to show you that is a great example of calculus: So, see all that stuff around the bottom of the tooth enamel? That's hardened plaque, AKA calculus. As plaque hardens, it builds up in layers, which encourages further buildup. As I'm sure you've heard from... read more ❯
Erica's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
I observed a party on Friday, February 8, 2013. This party was in the “East Edge” apartment complex near the University of Alabama campus. I arrived at approximately 10:00 pm. The environment was very dark and the room had a strobe light and several black lights. Because of this, the party-goers clothing was glowing. The room had a disorienting effect on the party-goers. The room was not very smoky, but there is a strong smell of cigarette smoke and marijuana.  There was extensive alcohol and marijuana use visible. The people at the party do not have a particularly unifying appearance (i.e. hipster, fraternity), however many people at the party have tattoos and facial piercings. In general, by the time I arrived, the majority of the people at the party are heavily intoxicated. There is an abundance of playful flirtation that is demonstrated through “butt slapping” and “grinding”. However, there does... read more ❯
Behind Blue Eyes: No one knows what it’s like to feel these feelings…..
Published 10/7/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
Recently I read an article by Carol Worthman of Emory University entitled “Emotions: You can feel the difference.” The article can be found as a chapter in the book “Biocultural approaches to the Emotions” which was published in 1999 and edited by Alexander Laban Hinton. As I read the article I was taken back to my first year as an undergraduate student sitting in a psychology class concerned with child development. In that class I was first exposed to the work of Jerome Kagan on temperament in infants and the work of Mary Ainsworth involving various types of attachment of children to their caregivers. The more recent work by Carol Worthman builds on these ideas and outlines a process in which an individual’s relationship to the environment is mediated by emotions and how the appraisal of this relationship has an effect on the individual’s mental and physical health. Ultimately, Worthman... read more ❯
Tate's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
Focal Sampling and Scan Sampling Analyzation             I chose to do my Human Ethology Assignment in Fairhope, Alabama, where I went home for Mardi Gras. The samplings took place Friday, February 8,2013 between 11:15 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. The bar is called My Place and is located at 68 N Bancroft Street. The environment consists of a small inside bar with three male bartenders. There is also an outside courtyard, half is tented in and the other half is open air (there is a fire pit outside for people to stay warm which creates a smoky, campfire smell while outside). The inside is a darker atmosphere that is not lit very well and is very smoky. The people inside the bar seem to be more intoxicated and more approachable, unless they are secluded in a booth, which is by their own choosing. This is also where the band plays, so the... read more ❯
Pygmy Slow Loris
Published 9/9/2013 in The Monkey Speaks His Mind
Author kjbennett
This Pygmy Slow Loris is named Otti-ly, the daughter of Basil and Pumpkin. She was born Feb. 5, 2010 in the Minnesota Zoological Garden. She is kept in a dimly lit display environment at her current location in the Philadelphia zoo, so that she is active during the day when guests are at the Zoo. We chose the Pygmy Slow Loris (Nycitebus pygmaeus) because it was clearly the cutest member of the Lorisoidea superfamily. It is also part of the Lorisdae family, the Lorisinae subfamily, and is also in the Strepsirhini Sub order. The Pygmy Slow Loris Resides in tropical dry forests in the countries of China, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They are arboreal creatures that walk slowly through the branches of trees in their native habitat. They eat insects, fruit, and slugs. Pygmy Slow Lorises are primarily solitary, only coming together to mate. This is done when a female communicates... read more ❯
The Rise of Physical Anthropology
Published 8/27/2012 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
We start our graduate core course in Physical Anthropology with a few articles on the history of the discipline, why it's historically called "physical" anthropology, & why it's now often termed "biological" anthropology. In the coming weeks, the students themselves will be posting their summaries of articles & discussing how the material relates to their own research interests. As we are a 4-field department, many of the students' primary interests are in archaeology, cultural anthropology, & linguistics (well, not this year, but in theory), but they have been encouraged to relate what they read to their own work, thus integrating the material at what I hope will be a deeper level than merely what they need to know for comps, & not to simply reiterate what the articles say about Physical Anthropology as a subdiscipline. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-cEDubwxKE The first day, aside from listening to me monologue for 2 hours (I would make a good... read more ❯
Alejandra's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
Last night I went to Crimson Café to do my ethology experiment. It was a Monday night, so there were not many people there, and my results are not as exciting, but I could at least observe some of the stages and characteristics. Focal Sampling I sat on the upper level of the Café so that I could see everything else and pretend that I was watching TV while looking at the people. When I got in, I noticed a girl sitting at the bar, talking very vividly to a man. She was sitting very close to her, as well as to other guy who, then I figured out, was there by himself. I thought maybe he was sitting so close to her because there had been more people at the bar before. The girl I observed was wearing casual clothes (jeans and a long-sleeved shirt) and glasses. I do not think that she was... read more ❯
23&me
Published 9/12/2013 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author peadams
I'm super excited that my class was funded to do 23&me. I've been wanting to do it for the past two years, but I haven't gotten around to doing it. I'm most interested in discovering my ancestry. My family has been in the United States long enough that I don't know much of my heritage. (I can actually trace every side of my family back over 100 years in the same two adjacent counties in North Alabama).  There has been some circumstantial evidence that I may have Scottish in me, but that is the only European country I can name-despite my family being completely of European descent. And as every other white southerner would say, there is a rumor that my great-great grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee. I've always been fascinated by figuring out my ancestry, and having these results could give me some interesting clues. The second part to 23&me is... read more ❯