from month 12/2009

Jingle Bell – Punjabi Tadka

When we started this blog, we hoped that anthropologists among our readers would be willing to contribute 'pictures of the week', photos (or videos) that would illustrate in a suggestive manner a theme of cognition-and-culture relevance, but we had very little success and, sadly, we have ...

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Monkeys recognize the faces of group mates in photographs

Jennifer J. Pokorny and Frans B. M. de Waal show that "Monkeys recognize the faces of group mates in photographs" (PNAS December 22, 2009 vol. 106 no. 51 21539-21543)   Subjects need to select the odd facial image from among four. On this trial, the odd image is a member of ...

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Golden bell and Iron shirt

In some traditions there is an interesting gap betweeen what people think they are going to learn from the tradition and what actually ends up being transmitted. Recently I found a nice example of that while practicing Qi Gong. In his classic Seventy-two arts of Shaolin (Zhong, 2004) Jin Jing ...

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Uta and Chris Frith on the social brain

In the special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B entitled "Personal perspectives in the life sciences for the Royal Society's 350th anniversary", a freely available article on "The social brain: allowing humans to boldly go where no other species has ...

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Conversation Hackers

Olivier Morin and Sophie Claudel Human argumentation is at the center of recent (and less recent) psychological work. We are learning a lot about our ability to argue. But the motivation behind human arguing is less well known. What makes us want to argue back at other people, even when we know ...

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The study of cognition and culture today

A special series of lectures supported by the LSE Annual Fund, organised by the department of anthropology of the LSE and the International Cognition and Culture Institute. All lectures to be held at 6pm the London School of Economics, Seligman Library, room A607, Old Building, Houghton Street, ...

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Three Questions for Simon Baron-Cohen

This is the first of what I hope will be a regular, informal interview slot, in which I put 3 questions to people who are researching in areas that may be of interest to ICCI members and readers. We hope you enjoy hearing from them. I haven’t asked interviewees to commit to post-interview ...

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Summer Institute in Cognitive Science: The origins of language

Summer Institute in Cognitive Science: The origins of language. 21-30 June 2010, Montreal: When in human evolution did language appear? Did it appear suddenly or gradually? What were the physiological, cognitive, and social prerequisites of language? The Summer Institute, organized by the ...

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The scope of natural pedagogy theory (II): uniquely human?

This is the second post in a series of two installments by Pierre Jacob, dwelling on Gergely and Csibra's work on human communication. In Pierre's first post, we saw that these experiments show that, as suggested by relevance theory, human can detect communicative intentions quite early. ...

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The Biological Link Between Music and Speech

In PLoS One, two researchers from the Duke Institute for Brain Science, Kamraan Z. Gill and Dale Purves, publish an article providing "A Biological Rationale for Musical Scales" and freely available here. Abstract: Scales are collections of tones that divide octaves into specific ...

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Can you tell the language of the mother from her baby’s cry?

A recently published article by Birgit Mampe, Angela D. Friederici, Anne Christophe and Kathleen Wermke entitled "Newborns' Cry Melody Is Shaped by Their Native Language" shows evidence that newborns' cry melody is influenced by the native language of their mother. The authors ...

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Death, where is thy sting ?

I don’t believe any one of you would like to live in a room with a murdered man in the cupboard, however well preserved chemically – even with a sunflower growing out of the top of his head. - John Ruskin Recently, Dan Sperber alerted us to ancedotal observations of grieving in ...

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