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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

The Burgeoning Family Tree of Monkey Men and Women

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The Burgeoning Family Tree of Monkey Men and Women

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: 17 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

DNA Testing

Started by Chris. Last reply by Daniel W on Monday. 32 Replies

How Not to Think About Scrotum's

Started by Doone has Fremdschämen. Last reply by Chris Nov 17, 2017. 3 Replies

Our Orgastic Future

Started by Doone has Fremdschämen. 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 May 6, 2013. 0 Replies

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

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Comment by Doone has Fremdschämen 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 has Fremdschämen 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 has Fremdschämen 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 has Fremdschämen 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 has Fremdschämen 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 
Comment by Adriana on March 8, 2011 at 9:48am
I'm putting that book in my reading queue! Thanks Doone!
Comment by Doone has Fremdschämen on March 8, 2011 at 7:34am

FROM ‘END OF HISTORY’ AUTHOR, A LOOK AT THE BEGINNING AND MIDDLE

Nicholas Wade in The New York Times:

FukuHuman social behavior has an evolutionary basis. This was the thesis in Edward O. Wilson’s book “Sociobiology” that caused such a stir, even though most evolutionary biologists accept that at least some social behaviors, like altruism, could be favored by natural selection. In a book to be published in April, “The Origins of Political Order,” Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University presents a sweeping new overview of human social structures throughout history, taking over from where Dr. Wilson’s ambitious synthesis left off.

Dr. Fukuyama, a political scientist, is concerned mostly with the cultural, not biological, aspects of human society. But he explicitly assumes that human social nature is universal and is built around certain evolved behaviors like favoring relatives, reciprocal altruism, creating and following rules, and a propensity for warfare. Because of this shared human nature, with its biological foundation, “human politics is subject to certain recurring patterns of behavior across time and across cultures,” he writes. It is these worldwide patterns he seeks to describe in an analysis that stretches from prehistoric times to the French Revolution.

More here.

Comment by Doone has Fremdschämen on March 7, 2011 at 10:15am

Cognitive Transtormation

The picture is detail from a stunningpicture called ‘Cognitive Transformation’ by artist Ben Tolman. Click to see the full version.

I just discovered Tolman’s websiteearlier today where you can see his wonderfully intricate and beautifully mind-bending images.

If you want some on your wall or shelf, he also has an online store.

Link to Ben Tolman’s website.

Comment by Doone has Fremdschämen on March 6, 2011 at 5:49pm

Quantum Mechanics and Free Will, By Dr. John Conway

If you want a series of philosophical discussions on quantum mechanics and free will I would suggest this series of lectures (sorry I can't embed the videos. I could figure it out but it is easier to just link to the videos). These were a series of lectures by Dr. John Conway at Princeton in 2009.

Lecture 1, March 23: “Free Will and Determinism in Science and Philosophy”
Lecture 2, March 30: “The Paradox of Kochen and Specker”
Lecture 3, April 6: “The Paradoxes of Relativity”
Lecture 4, April 13: “Quantum Mechanics and the Paradoxes of Entanglement”
Lecture 5, April 20: “Proof of the Free Will Theorem”
Lecture 6, April 27: “The Theorem’s Implications for Science and Philosophy”

The lectures are about an hour long each, so don't expect a quick fix. But just to give you a sample, "If we, human beings, do in deed have free will...then so do elementary particles....Free will means that our behavior is not a function of the past. If our behavior is a function of the past then what ever we do was written down, so to speak, in the great book before the world got started."
Comment by Adriana on March 6, 2011 at 2:41pm
Jeff, that is the most amazing link! THANK YOU!!!
 
 
 

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