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The Burgeoning Family Tree of the Naked Ape

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The Burgeoning Family Tree of 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: 5 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 Chris Feb 11. 5 Replies

How Not to Think About Scrotum's

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

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 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

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Paul Bloom: The Psychology of Everything

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Comment by Doone on October 7, 2011 at 9:43am

HUMAN EVOLUTION: NO EASY FIX

Px878_thumb3Ariel Fernandez in Project Syndicate:

Humans are undeniably complex, and proud of it. No case, we believe, needs to be made for our biological superiority. Our biological functions are exquisitely regulated and resilient to external variations, owing to complicated webs of interactions. Unlike other species, we seem to be endowed with willpower and intellect, hence we are capable of modifying the environment to buffer the effects of our decreasing fitness.

Be that as it may, we may be doomed as a species precisely because of the way in which our complexity arose. Paraphrasing the science writer Philip Ball, nature seems to have activated a time bomb, and our complexity is only a short-term fix.

To grasp the nature of the problem, we need to examine how humans are made at the molecular level, and contrast our constitution with that of other species that we often call “rudimentary,” such as unicellular organisms. This analysis leads us to examine proteins – our cellular building blocks and the executors of biological functions – across vastly different species. Proteins with common ancestry belonging to different species, termed “orthologs,” offer solid ground for comparison.

It has been generally recognized that the basic “fold,” or shape, of a protein must be conserved across species, because there is a tight correspondence between structure and function. Proteins that retain the same function across very different species – generally the case with orthologs – are expected to keep the same fold.

But the sequence of amino acids that make up the protein chains in these orthologs can vary significantly. Sometimes the extent of sequence identity between two orthologs can be as low as 25-30%, and yet their folds remain strikingly similar, attesting to the robustness of function to evolutionary change.

Posted by Robin Varghese at 12:58 AM | Permalink |

 

Comment by Sydni Moser on October 6, 2011 at 8:55am

Happy: A Documentary Exploring the Secrets Behind Our Most Valued E...

 

Uploaded by WadirumProductions on Apr 20, 2010

HAPPY is a feature documentary that takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Calcutta in a search of what really makes people happy. Combining powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research and real life stories of ordinary and extraordinary people around the world, HAPPY uncovers the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

 

OFFICIAL WEBPAGE: http://www.thehappymovie.com/

 

Comment by A Former Member on October 5, 2011 at 5:52pm

Just started reading Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives, by Dean Buonomano. Good so far. I'll post a review when I'm done.

Comment by Doone on October 3, 2011 at 11:29am

"Going Soft"

A quote worth pondering from Dr. Peter Whybrow, a British neuroscientist at U.C.L.A.:

“What we’re doing is minimizing the use of the part of the brain that lizards don’t have. We’ve created physiological dysfunction. We have lost the ability to self-regulate, at all levels of the society. The $5 million you get paid at Goldman Sachs if you do whatever they ask you to do—that is the chocolate cake upgraded.”

But far more gorged on cup-cakes.

Comment by Chris on October 1, 2011 at 9:42pm

The Epiphenom article was interesting. 

Was that started as a new discussion?

Comment by Doone on October 1, 2011 at 9:18pm

Start Paying For Dinner, Ladies

Doctorates
Taylor Marvin reads the above chart as an implication that cultural dating norms may change as well-educated women out-earn men:

What’s the point of an expectation that a high-earning man buys a female date dinner if there’s a good chance she makes more than him? This may just be male solidarity talking, but it’s hard to argue that this practice fits any definition of fairness. Similarly the traditional requirement of engagement rings, and by extension traditions that place the burden of proposing on men, is hard to justify in relationships where the female is the higher earner. As woman educational attainment continues to increase, we can expect these practices to become less common

 

Comment by Adriana on October 1, 2011 at 9:56am

Doone, this should be posted as Main page discussion; I think is of general interest. Will you?

Comment by Doone on October 1, 2011 at 9:42am

Interesting post from Epiphenom

Deep thinkers are more likely to lose their faith

There's always a fair amount of interest in whether atheists are more intelligent than believers. When I've reported on this in the past, I've always been a little sceptical about whether the purported statistical association is meaningful or even real.

Well, a new analysis by psychologists Gary Lewis, Stuart Ritchie, and Timothy Bates at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland has provided some more, rigorous evidence that the link is indeed real. They took data from the large MacArthur Foundation Survey of Midlife Development in the United States and found that high IQ was significantly associated with every one of six different measures of religion.

Comment by Adriana on October 1, 2011 at 9:23am

I love optical illusions. Also, narrow your eyes and really squint while looking at the picture, the motion effect disappears!

Comment by Neal on October 1, 2011 at 7:48am

Not a Gif:

 

 
 
 

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