nasabere's picture

Lessons Learned from Haitian Voodoo: Zombification and the Altered Consciousness Experience

Lessons Learned from Haitian Voodoo: Zombification and the Altered Consciousness Experience


jrieders's picture

Confucius vs Aristotle

To the contemporary American or Chinese person, it is nothing new to suggest that “Westerners” and “Easterners” act differently. As we have discussed in class, different behavior suggests different ways of thinking, and ultimately different organization of the brain itself.  One would then expect to see observable differences in “Eastern” and “Western” behavior, and some underlying neurological cause for such observations.

But what do the terms East and West really mean? Are these terms derived from a common region, culture, or language? The definition, to be sure, is a combination of many factors, which historically are ultimately selected to the definers’ (Westerners) advantage. For the purposes of this paper I will refer to East Asia as China, Korea, and Japan, and the West as America and Western Europe. The terms East and West are socially, politically, and economically weighted and the biases associated with them are so deeply rooted that even so called sinifiles may find themselves advocating the very stereotypes placed on the East by the West. For example, someone might argue how a mystic conformist society is far superior to an individualistic reason based society, without questioning how mystic or conformist Eastern culture truly is.

Emily Alspector's picture

Risk-Taking and the I-Function

At first glance, engaging in an activity that puts ones life at risk may seem evolutionarily unadaptive. However, much research and discussion has been initiated with just the opposite idea in mind. Risk-taking tendencies apparently lie deep within our evolutionary framework; our hunger-gatherer ancestors had no choice but to put their lives in danger in pursuit of food, shelter, or protection from danger. As Eric Perlman, a filmmaker specializing in extreme sports, said, “We are designed to experiment or die” (Greenfield, 1999)(1). Moreover, current generations of American descent can ascribe their

Jackie Marano's picture

The Tones of Tinnitus: Are Those 'Sounds' That You 'Hear'?

Although you have not yet progressed to the second sentence of this lengthy paper, there is almost a 100% guarantee that, before this text directs your attention to reality and essence of tinnitus, you are already knowledgeable about the phenomenon that is the basis for the following discussion. The legitimacy of this estimate can be attributed to the presumption that, at some point in your life, you were made conscious of your ‘head noise’ through the incidence of ringing in one or both of your ears. The presence of some ‘head noise’ is ordinary and natural, and most of us are only aware of its

Corollary discharge, I-function, personal resonsibility

Biology 202
Neurobiology and Behavior
Spring 2008

Course Notes


Class discussion - 1 April

Corollary discharge signals (CDS): what else might they be used for?

Christina Harview's picture

On the Rights of the Writer and Reader

Honestly, I was having trouble coming up with a straight answer for this whole “rights” of the reader verses the writer mess so I have decided to start over and go through my thoughts as systematically as I have time for. So, I will try to write down my thoughts as they develop temporally.


With regard to the rights of the writer:

Paul Grobstein's picture

Unintended consequences, unconceived alternatives, and ... life (among other things)

Recent conversations in the emergence working group on "unintended consequences" have reminded me of a book on the problem of "unconceived alternatives", and those in turn relate in interesting ways to issues in philosophy of science, in neurobiology, in human social organization, and, of course, in life in general. Let me see if I can explain.

Unintended Consequences
Christina Harview's picture

Seeking Out the Uncomfortable

Hello, reader. Today I will be talking about uncomfortable situations in life and how they can affect us positively if we allow them. Do not be afraid, however, to read on from this point—I have no intention of being the distributor of uncomfortable feelings (although that intent may change from this sentence to the next). Hopefully, after reading this paper, you will more often seek out the uncomfortable than avoid or ignore it. I want to provide a prescriptive redemption of uncomfortable situations. However, I am exploring discomfort from the point of view of the person feeling the emotion, not the person eliciting the emotion. I cannot endorse that we, as human beings,

Science and Public Responsibility

The Need for a Science Code of Conduct?

These evolving materials are provided to encourage continuing and new thought about science and its role in culture and, in particular, about the possible need of both scientists and others to clarify the ethical responsibilities inherent in scientific research. Your thoughts are welcome in the on-line forum area below.

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