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THE NAKED APE

THE NAKED APE: Exploring the science and cultural evolution of human psychology, behavior, cognition, language, memory, intelligence, emotion, and consciousness. (Uh, did I miss anything?)

Location: #science
Members: 56
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Welcome to THE NAKED APE

Those who’ve know me for some time know that I have a moderately strong interest in human consciousness and psychology. Although mind and body cannot exist without one another – and indeed they shape one another – it does seem that the very core of the human experience of ‘self’ exists in the brain alone.

We all know that much of the functioning and maintenance of our body is controlled covertly by the brain or by biological systems that work beneath our threshold of awareness. We do not consciously decide to sweat, or digest our food, or replace our cells.

And yet, in spite of the fact that we know this, we still cling to the illusion that the functioning of our thoughts, our decisions, our perceptions, our preferences, our memories, and our reasoning are under our direct, conscious control.

But neuroscience and psychology are now showing us that this simply is not the case—that the processes of mind and awareness function just as covertly as our biological systems.

That fascinates me!

How is it that the mind – that place of concealment – is also the one place in which awareness itself is known to exist?

The truth is that we don’t know ourselves as well as we’d like to believe. We don’t control our decisions, our perceptions, our motivations, or our memories as well as we think we do.

THE NAKED APE was created to explore these important topics. I welcome any post on human psychology, behavior, cognition, perception, language, memory, intelligence, emotion, and consciousness.

 

Discussion Forum

How Not to Think About Scrotum's

Started by doone. Last reply by Don Jan 5, 2014. 1 Reply

Our Orgastic Future

Started by doone. Last reply by Neal Jun 18, 2013. 3 Replies

E.O. Wilson: Tribalism, Groupism, Globalism

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Jun 4, 2013. 7 Replies

Gestalt psychology

Started by A Former Member May 11, 2013. 0 Replies

On the usefulness of illusions

Started by Michel. Last reply by Chris May 6, 2013. 1 Reply

How Whites Think About Race

Started by Neal. Last reply by Adriana Mar 20, 2013. 13 Replies

How to scare someone who knows no fear

Started by Adriana. Last reply by Adriana Feb 6, 2013. 6 Replies

10 Amazing Things People's Brains Have Done

Started by Michel. Last reply by Marianne Jan 19, 2013. 2 Replies

Paul Bloom: The Psychology of Everything

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Michel Jan 2, 2013. 6 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

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Comment by doone on March 13, 2011 at 3:07pm



A reader writes:

New research supports the view that:

"If you take the promiscuity that is the main feature of chimp society, and replace it with pair bonding, you get many of the most important features of human society," he said." -- 'he' being "Bernard Chapais, a primatologist at the University of Montreal, in his book “Primeval Kinship” (2008).

Dr. Chapais showed how a simple development, the emergence of a pair bond between male and female, would have allowed people to recognize their relatives, something chimps can do only to a limited extent. When family members dispersed to other bands, they would be recognized and neighboring bands would cooperate instead of fighting to the death as chimp groups do."

But there's more to it than that...

"Michael Tomasello, a psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said the survey provided a strong foundation for the view that cooperative behavior, as distinct from the fierce aggression between chimp groups, was the turning point that shaped human evolution. If kin selection was much weaker than thought, Dr. Tomasello said, “then other factors like reciprocity and safeguarding one’s reputation have to be stronger to make cooperation work.”

An evolutionary bias towards 'morality'? To match the obvious bias towards increasing intelligence?

Richard Dawkins, call your office.

(Photo:A chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo looks up at the new ?5.65 million pound enclosure, the world's largest at 1500 square feet, which can hold up to 40 chimpanzees May 1, 2008 in Scotland. By Jeff J Mitchell/Getty.)

Comment by A Former Member on March 12, 2011 at 5:12pm

Thanks for the posts doone. I've been passing them along.

Comment by doone on March 12, 2011 at 8:06am

Giftedness Linked to Prenatal Exposure of Higher Levels of Testosterone

ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2011) — A longstanding debate as to whether genius is a byproduct of good genes or good environment has an upstart challenger that may take the discussion in an entirely new direction. University of Alberta researcher Marty Mrazik says being bright may be due to an excess level of a natural hormone.   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311153549.htm


A longstanding debate as to whether genius is a byproduct of good genes or good environment has an upstart challenger that may take the discussion in an entirely new direction. University of Alberta researcher Marty Mrazik says being bright may be due to an excess level of a natural hormone. 

Comment by doone on March 12, 2011 at 7:10am

HOW TO MEMORIZE EVERYTHING

From The New York Times:

Horowitz-popupWhen we meet Joshua Foer, his memory is “nothing special.” A year later, he is able to memorize the order of a shuffled deck of cards in less than two minutes and the names of 99 people he’s just met. He has also etched in his brain images of his friend urinating on Pope Benedict’s skullcap, of Rhea Perlman involved in indelicate acts with Manute Bol, and of other things most of us would try hard to forget. Let it never be claimed that there is no cost to self-improvement.

A mere millennium ago, being able to remember and recite a text verbatim was not a game or a party trick. It was an art. More than that, it was part of being cultured: a person without memory was a person without ethics or humanity. Today, memorization is limited to Shakespeare monologues and Robert Frost poems in high school. Phone numbers and friends’ birthdays are “remembered” by cellphones and computers. Indeed, much of our daily memory has been offloaded onto external devices. The advantage to this is clear: information is portable and searchable, and not taking up valuable space in our noggins. Until you lose your iPhone.

More here.

Comment by doone on March 11, 2011 at 7:27am
Comment by doone on March 11, 2011 at 6:02am

Aging Rates, Gender Gap in Mortality Similar Across All Primates

ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2011) — Humans aren't the only ones who grow old gracefully, says a new study of primate aging patterns.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310141427.htm

Comment by doone on March 10, 2011 at 4:34pm

Research findings published in the March 11 edition of the journalScience by an international team of noted anthropologists, including several from Arizona State University, who study hunter-gatherer societies, are informing the issue by suggesting that human ancestral social structure may be the root of cumulative culture and cooperation and, ultimately, human uniqueness.

Because humans lived as hunter-gatherers for 95 percent of their species' history, current foraging societies provide the best window for viewing human social evolution, according to the authors. Given that, the researchers focused on co-residence patterns among more than 5,000 individuals from 32 present-day foraging societies around the globe, including the Gunwinggu, Labrador Inuit, Mbuti, Apache, Aka, Ache, Agta and Vedda. Their findings identify human hunter-gatherer group structure as unique among primates

Anthropologists Link Human Uniqueness to Hunter-Gatherer Group Structure

Comment by doone on March 10, 2011 at 3:14pm
Web-Crawling the Brain: 3-D Nanoscale Model of Neural Circuit Created http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309131928.htm
ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2011) — The brain is a black box. A complex circuitry of neurons fires information through channels, much like the inner workings of a computer chip. But while computer processors are regimented with the deft economy of an assembly line, neural circuits are impenetrable masses. Think tumbleweed.
Comment by doone on March 9, 2011 at 8:53pm

Missing DNA Helps Make Us Human

ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2011) — A new study demonstrates that specific traits that distinguish humans from their closest living relatives -- chimpanzees, with whom we share 96 percent of our DNA -- can be attributed to the loss of chunks of DNA that control when and where certain genes are turned on. The finding mirrors accumulating evidence from other species that changes to regulatory regions of DNA -- rather than to the genes themselves -- underlie many of the new features that organisms acquire through evolution.

Comment by doone on March 9, 2011 at 8:11pm
n a paper in the March issue of the Journal of Cognitive Psychology, researchers found that short-term memory is made up of three areas: a core focusing on one active item, a surrounding area holding at least three more active items, and a wider region containing passive items that have been tagged for later retrieval or "put on the back burner." But more importantly, they found that the core region, called the focus of attention, has three roles -- not two as proposed by previous researchers. First, this core focus directs attention to the correct item, which is affected by predictability of input pattern. Then it retrieves the item and subsequently, when needed, updates it  More 
 
 
 

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