Hey lovely anthro-centrics,

I wanted to compile a list of anthropology tumblrs, so please message me the URL of your tumblr blog and I’ll create a nice clickable list for you all!

The blog itself must be solely dedicated to anthropology, so please don’t be upset with me if I cannot include yours.

Thanks,

Sasha of Anthropologydaily

X-Ray GIFs by Cameron Drake | Behance 

ucresearch:

Einstein’s Brain   (…and the neuroscientist who studied it)


Marian Diamond began her graduate work in 1948 and was the first female student in the department of anatomy at UC Berkeley.  The first thing she was asked to do when she got there was sew a cover for a large magnifying machine (?!?!?!?!).

"They didn’t know what to do with me because they weren’t used to having a woman. They thought I was there to get a husband. I was there to learn."

Such challenges were not uncommon. Years later she requested tissue samples of Albert Einstein’s brain from a pathologist in Missouri. He didn’t trust her.

"He wasn’t sure that I was a scientist. This is one thing that you have to face being a woman.  He didn’t think that I should be the one to be looking at Einstein’s brain."

Marian persisted for three years, calling him once every six months, and received four blocks of the physicist’s brain tissue (about the size of a sugar cube).  

Her research found that Einstein had twice as many glial cells as normal males — the discovery caused an international sensation as well as scientific criticism.  

What are glial cells?  Previously, scientists believe that neurons were responsible for thinking and glial cells were support cells in the brain.  Now Researchers believe the glial cells play a critical role in brain development, learning, memory, aging and disease.

Watch her popular course on Human Anatomy

neurosciencestuff:

What sign language teaches us about the brain
The world’s leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing than it did the robot!). As a neuroscientist, the experience of learning to sign made me think about how the brain perceives this means of communicating.
For instance, during my training, I found that mnemonics greatly simplified my learning process. To sign the colour blue you use the fingers of your right hand to rub the back of your left hand, my simple mnemonic for this sign being that the veins on the back of our hand appear blue. I was therefore forming an association between the word blue (English), the sign for blue (BSL), and the visual aid that links the two. However, the two languages differ markedly in that one relies on sounds and the other on visual signs.
Do our brains process these languages differently? It seems that for the most part, they don’t. And it turns out that brain studies of sign language users have helped bust a few myths.
Read more

neurosciencestuff:

What sign language teaches us about the brain

The world’s leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing than it did the robot!). As a neuroscientist, the experience of learning to sign made me think about how the brain perceives this means of communicating.

For instance, during my training, I found that mnemonics greatly simplified my learning process. To sign the colour blue you use the fingers of your right hand to rub the back of your left hand, my simple mnemonic for this sign being that the veins on the back of our hand appear blue. I was therefore forming an association between the word blue (English), the sign for blue (BSL), and the visual aid that links the two. However, the two languages differ markedly in that one relies on sounds and the other on visual signs.

Do our brains process these languages differently? It seems that for the most part, they don’t. And it turns out that brain studies of sign language users have helped bust a few myths.

Read more

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. The concept of race is included in around 20 Swedish laws, including criminal code, student financial aid laws, and credit information laws. On Thursday the Swedish government began an investigation into how to remove the concept from all legislation, as has been done in Austria and Finland.
Read More Here
& Here
Do you tumblr anthropologists agree with the Swedish Government? Should the concept of race be eradicated from legislation? 

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. The concept of race is included in around 20 Swedish laws, including criminal code, student financial aid laws, and credit information laws. On Thursday the Swedish government began an investigation into how to remove the concept from all legislation, as has been done in Austria and Finland.

Read More Here

& Here

Do you tumblr anthropologists agree with the Swedish Government? Should the concept of race be eradicated from legislation? 

rapiddescent:

A 3,400 year old song.

For fifteen years Prof. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer puzzled over clay tablets relating to music including some excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early ’50s. The tablets from the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra) were about 3400 years old, had markings called cuneiform signs in the Hurrian language (with borrowed Akkadian terms) that provided a form of musical notation. One of the texts formed a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world. Finally in 1972, Kilmer, who is professor of Assyriology, University of California, and a curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, developed an interpretation of the song based on her study of the notation. (Fig. 1).

The top parts were the words and the bottom half instructions for playing the music. Kilmer, working with colleagues Richard L. Crocker and Robert R. Brown produced a record and booklet about the song called Sounds From Silence.

The song, it turns out, is in the equivalent of the diatonic “major” (“do, re, mi”) scale. In addition, as Kilmer points out: “We are able to match the number of syllables in the text of the song with the number of notes indicated by the musical notations”. This approach produces harmonies rather than a melody of single notes. The chances the number of syllables would match the notation numbers without intention are astronomical.

This evidence both the 7-note diatonic scale as well as harmony existed 3,400 years ago flies in the face of most musicologists’ views that ancient harmony was virtually non-existent (or even impossible) and the scale only about as old as the Ancient Greeks, 2000 years ago. Said Crocker: “This has revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of western music.”

(source)

aljazeeraamerica:

Neanderthal feces shows cavemen ate their veggies

The discovery of the oldest known human excrement fossil is offering valuable scientific insight into the life of Neanderthals who lived in Spain some 50,000 years ago.
Scientists said Wednesday that they found five samples of human fecal matter at an archaeological site called El Salt, in the floor of a rock shelter where Neanderthals once lived.
Analysis of the samples provided a new understanding of the diet of this extinct human species, offering the first evidence that Neanderthals were omnivores who also ate vegetables as part of their meat-heavy diet, they said.

Read more

aljazeeraamerica:

Neanderthal feces shows cavemen ate their veggies

The discovery of the oldest known human excrement fossil is offering valuable scientific insight into the life of Neanderthals who lived in Spain some 50,000 years ago.

Scientists said Wednesday that they found five samples of human fecal matter at an archaeological site called El Salt, in the floor of a rock shelter where Neanderthals once lived.

Analysis of the samples provided a new understanding of the diet of this extinct human species, offering the first evidence that Neanderthals were omnivores who also ate vegetables as part of their meat-heavy diet, they said.

Read more

  • Anonymous: what are some good minors for Anthropology? i want to take human physiology but I don't know if it would be a good minor
  • Depends on the sub-field of anthropology. For archaeology, I recommend geology or any earth science. For cultural, probably psychology or sociology. For physical, definitely biology. 

thothofnorth:

The Meanings of Chimpanzee Gestures
Chimpanzees’ use of gesture was described in the first detailed field study [ 1, 2 ], and natural use of specific gestures has been analyzed [ 3–5 ]. However, it was systematic work with captive groups that revealed compelling evidence that chimpanzees use gestures to communicate in a flexible, goal-oriented, and intentional fashion [ 6–8 ], replicated across all great ape species in captivity [ 9–17 ] and chimpanzees in the wild [ 18, 19 ]. All of these aspects overlap with human language but are apparently missing in most animal communication systems, including great ape vocalization, where extensive study has produced meager evidence for intentional use ([ 20 ], but see [ 21, 22 ]). Findings about great ape gestures spurred interest in a potential common ancestral origin with components of human language [ 23–25 ]. Of particular interest, given the relevance to language origins, is the question of what chimpanzees intend their gestures to mean; surprisingly, the matter of what the intentional signals are used to achieve has been largely neglected. Here we present the first systematic study of meaning in chimpanzee gestural communication. Individual gestures have specific meanings, independently of signaler identity, and we provide a partial “lexicon”; flexibility is predominantly in the use of multiple gestures for a specific meaning. We distinguish a range of meanings, from simple requests associated with just a few gestures to broader social negotiation associated with a wider range of gesture types. Access to a range of alternatives may increase communicative subtlety during important social negotiations.
Read More

thothofnorth:

The Meanings of Chimpanzee Gestures

Chimpanzees’ use of gesture was described in the first detailed field study [ 1, 2 ], and natural use of specific gestures has been analyzed [ 3–5 ]. However, it was systematic work with captive groups that revealed compelling evidence that chimpanzees use gestures to communicate in a flexible, goal-oriented, and intentional fashion [ 6–8 ], replicated across all great ape species in captivity [ 9–17 ] and chimpanzees in the wild [ 18, 19 ]. All of these aspects overlap with human language but are apparently missing in most animal communication systems, including great ape vocalization, where extensive study has produced meager evidence for intentional use ([ 20 ], but see [ 21, 22 ]). Findings about great ape gestures spurred interest in a potential common ancestral origin with components of human language [ 23–25 ]. Of particular interest, given the relevance to language origins, is the question of what chimpanzees intend their gestures to mean; surprisingly, the matter of what the intentional signals are used to achieve has been largely neglected. Here we present the first systematic study of meaning in chimpanzee gestural communication. Individual gestures have specific meanings, independently of signaler identity, and we provide a partial “lexicon”; flexibility is predominantly in the use of multiple gestures for a specific meaning. We distinguish a range of meanings, from simple requests associated with just a few gestures to broader social negotiation associated with a wider range of gesture types. Access to a range of alternatives may increase communicative subtlety during important social negotiations.

Read More