99 research outputs found

    Observations of red-giant variable stars by Aboriginal Australians

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    Aboriginal Australians carefully observe the properties and positions of stars, including both overt and subtle changes in their brightness, for subsistence and social application. These observations are encoded in oral tradition. I examine two Aboriginal oral traditions from South Australia that describe the periodic changing brightness in three pulsating, red-giant variable stars: Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis), Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), and Antares (Alpha Scorpii). The Australian Aboriginal accounts stand as the only known descriptions of pulsating variable stars in any Indigenous oral tradition in the world. Researchers examining these oral traditions over the last century, including anthropologists and astronomers, missed the description of these stars as being variable in nature as the ethnographic record contained several misidentifications of stars and celestial objects. Arguably, ethnographers working on Indigenous Knowledge Systems should have academic training in both the natural and social sciences.Comment: The Australian Journal of Anthropology (2018

    On the Formation of Collective Memories: The Role of a Dominant Narrator.

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    To test our hypothesis that conversations can contribute to the formation of collective memory, we asked participants to study stories and to recall them individually (pregroup recollection), then as a group (group recounting), and then once again individually (postgroup recollection). One way that postgroup collective memories can be formed under these circumstances is if unshared pregroup recollections in the group recounting influences others\u27 postgroup recollections. In the present research, we explored (using tests of recall and recognition) whether the presence of a dominant narrator can facilitate the emergence of unshared pregroup recollections in a group recounting and whether this emergence is associated with changes in postgroup recollections. We argue that the formation of a collective memory through conversation is not inevitable but is limited by cognitive factors, such as conditions for social contagion, and by situational factors, such as the presence of a narrator

    An Evolutionary Upgrade of Cognitive Load Theory: Using the Human Motor System and Collaboration to Support the Learning of Complex Cognitive Tasks

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    Cognitive load theory is intended to provide instructional strategies derived from experimental, cognitive load effects. Each effect is based on our knowledge of human cognitive architecture, primarily the limited capacity and duration of a human working memory. These limitations are ameliorated by changes in long-term memory associated with learning. Initially, cognitive load theory's view of human cognitive architecture was assumed to apply to all categories of information. Based on Geary's (Educational Psychologist 43, 179-195 2008; 2011) evolutionary account of educational psychology, this interpretation of human cognitive architecture requires amendment. Working memory limitations may be critical only when acquiring novel information based on culturally important knowledge that we have not specifically evolved to acquire. Cultural knowledge is known as biologically secondary information. Working memory limitations may have reduced significance when acquiring novel

    Quorum Sensing Primes the Oxidative Stress Response in the Insect Endosymbiont, Sodalis glossinidius

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    quorum sensing system relies on the function of two regulatory proteins; SogI (a LuxI homolog) synthesizes a signaling molecule, characterized as N-(3-oxohexanoyl) homoserine lactone (OHHL), and SogR1 (a LuxR homolog) interacts with OHHL to modulate transcription of specific target genes. and SOPE. and SOPE indicates the potential for neofunctionalization to occur during the process of genome degeneration