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Tobias Rees’s Plastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

plastic reason coverPlastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

by Tobias Rees

University of California Press, 2016, 352 pages

 

In the prefatory pages of Plastic Reason, Tobias Rees explains that his ethnographic study of the lab of French biologist Alain Prochiantz — one of the earliest proponents, technicians, and conceptual architects of neuronal plasticity — is ultimately “about …

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Experimental anthropology in the making: a conversation with Andreas Roepstorff

Andreas Roepstorff is Professor in Anthropology at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he is also Director of the Interacting Minds Centre. Since the early 2000s, he has pursued an intensely interdisciplinary and collaborative research-programme at the intersections of anthropology, science and technology studies, and cognitive neuroscience – while also using his ethnographic training to reflect back on this his own

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Concussion’s Memory Problem

In the lead-up to this year’s Superbowl, a surge of scientists, celebrities, athletes and everyday citizens all weighed in, many with tongues-in-cheek, to a so-called scandal about the deflation of game balls prepared by one of the competing teams. While popular media bubbled with the latest news for nearly two weeks, a simultaneous commentary was launched by some

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Reflex/Рефлекс

Reflex. The images themselves seem to come reflexively.  The clinician’s percussion hammer bouncing off of the knee. A startled infant.  I hadn’t thought much about the idea of the reflex. At least not since the fifth grade, when I had unsuccessfully tried to condition four white laboratory mice to respond either to the sound of a bell or a flashing …

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EEG

January, 2525. Below ground. Chemical fumes and white walls. A barely functional weblink with the following webpage, read to the sound of steady beeping:

The science of reading the electrical activity in the cerebral cortex is called encephalography; the material representation of the different electrical folds of the brain an encephalogram.

A biosignal like no other, the EEG is used