from month 10/2009

Outbreak!

Hilary Evans and Robert Bartholomew have compiled and "Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior". This is quite an impressive endeavour that can be used for scholarly purposes (it is well referenced) and for fun (because people do weird things sometimes). The articles I've read ...

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The universality of music: Cross-cultural comparison, the recognition of emotions, and the influence

It has long been debated which aspects of music perception are universal and which are specific to a specific musical culture. A recent paper, "Universal Recognition of Three Basic Emotions in Music" by T. Fritz, S. Jentschke, N. Gosselin, D. Sammler, I. Peretz, R. Turner, A. ...

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Mind and society: Special issue on social simulation

The latest issue of Mind and Society (Volume 8, Number 2 / décembre 2009), a journal of obvious cognition and culture relevance, is on social simulation. Here is the table of content:   Special issue on: Social simulation Preface Rosaria Conte, 127-130 The ...

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Proper names in mind, language and culture

Proper names are a standard topic of anthropological research, focusing on the variety of naming systems across cultures and on the role of names in social relationships and verbal interactions (for a recent collection, see The Anthropology of names and naming, edited by Gabriele vom Bruck and ...

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The Opening Conference of the Cognitive Development Center at CEU

The recently established Cognitive Development Center at the Central European University, led by Professors Gergely Csibra and György Gergely, will hold its Opening Conference in Budapest on January 15 and 16, 2010. The speakers of the conference are: Susan Carey ...

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Simian Oeconomicus II

In a recent post, I commented on the existence of markets of goods and services in monkeys' societies. Exactly as in human societies, supply and demand determine value of commodities exchanged among individuals. In an article entitled "Chimpanzees coordinate in a negotiation game" in ...

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The cultural group selection hypothesis

A new paper by Adrian V. Bell, Peter J. Richerson, and Richard McElreath published online in PNAS (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903232106) entitled "Culture rather than genes provides greater scope for the evolution of large-scale human prosociality" (Restricted access) in which they argue that ...

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Elinor Ostrom: Nobel Prize in Anthropology!

I have never quite understood why there is a Nobel Prize just in economics. Why a prize basically on financial relationships? Why not a prize for the human sciences as whole instead? After all, there is a prize in biology, and no prize in marine biology, or a prize in physics and no prize in ...

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New book on: Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind

A new book of cognition-and-culture relevance edited by Mark Schaller, Ara Norenzayan, Steven J Heine, Toshio Yamagishi and Tatsuya Kameda: Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind Published by: Psychology Press, List Price: £37.50 "An enormous amount of scientific research compels ...

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g Tum-mo heat meditation

Preparing for a lecture on homeostatic mechanisms, I came across a surprising phenomenon, g tum-mo heat meditation, that raises an interesting question about human enculturability. Homeostatic mechanisms are those that maintain our bodies (or our lives) in a state of balance between two (or ...

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Experimental demonstration of cultural attitudes to punishment?

PNAS has just released an article on the variability of cultural attitudes to punishment. However, one may wonder if the experiment is really about punishment or cultural attitudes. Here is the abstract. In a pairwise interaction, an individual who uses costly punishment must pay a cost in order ...

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Nick Enfield reviews Atran and Medin’s The Native Mind and the Construction of Nature

(We have asked Nick Enfield to share with us and thus open to discussion his review of The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature by Scott Atran and Douglas Medin, [MIT Press, 2008] published in the TLS, September 18). One success of twentieth century anthropology was to debunk ...

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