from month 12/2008

Picture of the week: Rebuilding a house among the Zafimaniry… and rethinking cognitive approaches

This photograph shows the preparations for the rebuilding of a house in 2006 in a Zafimaniry village in Madagascar. The Zafimaniry exemplify what Lévi-Strauss has called "house based societies" since it is the material house, often richly decorated, which symbolically represe...

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Cartoon Faces

In Jonathan Franzen's latest book, The Discomfort Zone (highly recommended), I found a nice couple of paragraphs dwelling on the psychology of cartoon faces. Franzen is reminiscing on his fascination for Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts. Here's what he writes: Our visual cortexes are wired ...

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Why do we sometimes de-humanize our fellow humans? Some preliminary reflections

(This post has been jointly written by Harvey WHITEHOUSE and Justin BARRETT) Whatever else it may entail, de-humanizing involves the de-activation of our capacity to empathize. There is now a substantial body of research in experimental psychology showing that humans have highly developed ...

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Cognitio 2009 – Changing Minds: Cultures and Cognition in Evolution

Montreal, Canada June 4th, 5th & 6th 2006. http://cognitio.uqam.ca/2009 cognitio2009@gmail.com [version française ci-après] Cognitio 2009 invites graduate students and young researchers in cognitive science, anthropology, biology, psychology, computer science, ...

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Has anyone else enjoyed Love and Sex with Robots?

Has Anyone Else Enjoyed Love and Sex with Robots? No, I guess I thought not.  It's actually not too bad. But for those of you who are thinking about it, a warning before getting too invested:  you have to get through the boring, mushy stuff before you get to the juicy stuff.&...

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(Archive) Doctoral and Post-doc position at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen

Archive: the deadline is passed. Research positions for 1 Postdoctoral Researcher and 1 Ph.D. student are available in the research group ‘Comparative Cognitive Anthropology' at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen, NL). The successful applicants will be expected ...

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How social status shapes race

In PNAS December 16, 2008 vol. 105 no. 50, an article by Andrew M. Penner and Aliya Saperstein: "How social status shapes race" Here is the abstract: "We show that racial perceptions are fluid; how individuals perceive their own race and how they are perceived by others ...

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Experimental evidence for the Broken Window Theory

In the late 80's, New York experienced a high rate of violence and crack was everywhere. In 1985 when George L. Kelling, coauthor of the article "Broken Windows", was hired as a consultant to the New York City Transit Authority, the subway was awfull. Kelling implemented new measures. ...

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Into the dynamic of hot topics

"Have you heard about the subprime crisis?" A few days before I was first asked that question I did not even know what a subprime was, but just in a week or so subprimes had become a major topic for news, conversation, rumors and even jokes. 'Subprime crisis' is an example of the ...

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Meaning in Religion, Cognition and Culture

A working conference on "Meaning in Religion, Cognition and Culture" will take place May 28-29, 2009 at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, hosted by the main research area Religion, Cognition and Culture (RCC) at the Department of the Study of Religion in collaboration with the Internat...

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Is a universal Michelin Guide possible?

Michelin is preparing a Hong-Kong edition of its world renowned guide (Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau 2010). Michelin started as a French gastronomic guide, but went out of France 30 years ago, first in the UK and now in more than 30 countries. However, so far (apart from a recent Tokyo ...

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Scots, Birds, and Names

On Strange Maps, I found the following piece of concrete poetry: A Chaffinch Map of Scotland, by Edwin Morgan.   "The chaffinch is "a most common of European finch species is noted for its powerful and typical song. Chaffinches have an innate ability to sing, but also adapt ...

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