Asquith, P J The intellectual history of field studies in primatology:
We may overlook it in our day to day lives, but every so often it becomes evident that we interact best when we understand the pecking order. The social brain hpyothesis argues that the cognitive demands of living in complexly bonded social groups selected for increases in executive brain.
Two new papers in the current issue of the journal Neuron investigate this phenomenon by looking at the activity in specific regions of the brain, like the striatumwhich reflects a common signal of reward in both the economic and social domains.
The research was conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health. For example, the striatum showed activity in a situation where a rise or fall in rank was a possibility as much as it did to the monetary reward.
The stratium is a critical part of the brain where dopamine is regulated, and a previous study investigated the genetics of dopamine and the linkage it had to agressive social behaviors. Overall, this observation implies that social status is highly valued in our subconscious minds, even as much as money.
The press is gorging itself on this sound bite, they just love it when something as complex as social hierarchy and brain functions are reduced to something as simple as gaining money.
A circuit involving the mid-front part of the brain that processes the intentions and motives of others and emotion processing areas deep in the brain activated when the hierarchy became unstable, allowing for upward and downward mobility.
In contrast, when the player did worse than an inferior competitor different activity was shown in centers of the brain associated with emotional pain, frustration, and stress.
One last cool results was associated with players who were at the top of the hierarchy, not only did they say they had a more positive experience but more activity was associated in the emotional pain circuitry when they perceived an outcome that could drop them down in rank.
These results kinda thwart any Utopian anarchists out there. Coinciding with these two studies is this short little paper in the latest Nature investigating the genetics and expression of Neuropeptide Y NPY. Neuropeptide Y is just that a peptide that functions as a neurotransmitter, it is involved in regulation of energy balance, memory and learning.
In mice and monkeys, it has been observed that stress stimulates the expression of this gene product. As seen in the above results, stress is an important behavioral response in social hierarchy. A single nucleotide polymorphism SNP rs located in the promoter region alters NPY expression in vitro and seems to account for more than half of the variation in expression in vivo.
The fMRI study has shown what areas of the brain are active in these situations, and the genetics of NPY indicate how the allelic differences of NPY affect stress responses. They illuminate a lot about how we subconsciously process social hierarchy, which is a very human thing.
Genetic variation in human NPY expression affects stress response and emotion. Nature,Anthropology is the study of human beings in all their cultural and biological diversity.
Wienker Prize for Best Undergraduate Essay. Four awards are given each year, one in each sub-discipline for the best essay in an undergraduate anthropology class, and one for the best senior honors thesis. evolution, and primatology (see list of.
Physical anthropology is concerned with the origin, evolution, and diversity of people. Physical anthropologists work broadly on three major sets of problems: human and nonhuman primate evolution, human variation and its significance, and the biological bases of human behaviour. In The Shadow Of Man Summary.
Jane Goodall quotes, and essay topics. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of In The Shadow Of Man by Jane Goodall. helped to make Goodall famous and remains her most widely read work. Still widely studied in zoology, anthropology, and primatology programs, it was called one of.
class guide for biological anthropology lab papers.
More questions? please contact Tony Stankus. Forensic Anthropology and Pathology Determining Age from Bones NAGPRA Spina bifida The Body Farm and the University of Tennessee. Primatology Chimp/Bonobo comparison Lemurs Tarsiers Gibbons Orangutans Gorillas Kanzi Koko .
1 Carl Brusse, Making do without selection—review essay of “Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges” by Tim Lewens, Biology & Philosophy, , 32, 2, CrossRef 2 Samuel Bagg, When will a Darwinian approach be useful for the study of society?, Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , X CrossRef.
Western primatology. While primatology is a popular field of study across the world, its main centers of research are in the West and in Japan. This article will focus on Western primatology, whose research comes out of North America and Europe.