USA Today reports on Dr. Rilling’s research regarding the connection between grandmothers and their grandchildren

James Rilling, Professor in the Anthropology Department at Emory University, used functional magnetic resonance  imaging to scan grandmothers brains while they looked at images of their children, their grandchildren as well as unrelated adults and children.

“When grandmothers viewed photographs of their grandchildren, they particularly activated brain regions that have previously been associated with emotional empathy, suggesting that grandmothers may be predisposed to share the emotional states of their grandchildren,” Rilling tells USA Today. When looking at picture of their adult children, areas of their brain associated with cognitive empathy where activated.

Dr. Stout is interviewed by PNAS on cave paintings dating back at least 45,500 years

Recently discovered cave paintings and bone carvings offer new perspectives on long-held questions about art’s origins—not to mention the nature of art itself.

The paintings of Pigs were discovered on limestone walls of the Leang Tedongnge cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The question about what the oldest record of art is necessitates a definition of art, and leads us to the question of what the creation of art tell us about humans and their abilities at the time. The full article is available online.

Jim Rilling’s research is featured on the Australian Broadcasting Company podcast All In The Mind

Dr. Rilling is interviewed by Sana Quadar about his research on fatherhood for the All In The Mind podcast on fatherhood. Rilling speaks about hormonal changes, brain functions and interactions between fathers and their children. Other guests are Dave Edwards and Dr. Jacqui Macdonald, the podcast is available online.

Dr. Marcela Benítez shares her research in The Animal Behavior Podcast

Listen to Dr. Marcela Benítez (@mebenitez85) talk about social comparisons, cooperation, and cognition in nonhuman primates in Episode 5 of The Animal Behavior Podcast. In this episode, host Matthew speaks with Dr. Marcela Benítez, an assistant professor in the department of Anthropology at Emory University and co-director of the Capuchinos de Taboga research project, on her research taking comparative cognition work from the lab to the wild, the overlap between psychology and anthropology, as well as her commitment to make primate fieldwork more accessible for undergraduates.

Congratulations to our Student Award Winners

The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2021 student award winners!  Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Isabella Cantor, Katherine Morgan, William Johnson, and Phoebe Einzig-Roth, and graduate students Elena Lesley and Luisa Rivera.  Undergraduate awards were conferred at a virtual celebration on Monday, May 3.   

Photo left to right: Isabella Cantor, Katherine Morgan, William Johnson, Phoebe Einzig-Roth

2021 Undergraduate Student Awards

Outstanding Senior Award: Isabella Cantor and Katherine Morgan

Outstanding Junior Award: William Johnson

Marjorie Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnography

  • Isabella Cantor  for her honors thesis “End-of-Life Perspectives Among Couples Aging Together in Assisted Living: A Narrative Approach”, advised by Mel Konner.
  • Phoebe Einzig-Roth for her class project “Coping with COVID: Patient Perspectives”, directed by Debra Vidali.

2021 Graduate Student Awards: 

George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Elena Lesley and Luisa Rivera

For award descriptions and past winners, visit our Departmental Awards webpage.

Dr. Carol Worthman receives Lifetime Achievement award from the Society for Psychological Anthropology

Carol Worthman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor Emerita of the Department of Anthropology, has received the 2021 Society for Psychological Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award. The award “honors career-long contributions to psychological anthropology that have substantially influenced the field and its development. The award seeks to recognize the work of individuals whose sustained involvement in psychological anthropology has had a major impact on research directions, on the wider visibility and relevance of the field, and on the growth of a community of scholarship addressing issues of culture and psychology.

Professor Worthman integrates anthropology, human development, and neuroscience to investigate the bases of differential well-being with a particular focus on adolescent and global mental health. She has conducted collaborative biocultural and biosocial research in thirteen countries, including Kenya, Tibet, Nepal, Egypt, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and South Africa, as well as in rural, urban, and semi-urban areas of the United States.

Anthropology Graduate Student Sarah Kovalaskas reflects on research and her recent publication in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior

Sarah Kovalaskas joined the Department of Anthropology as a graduate student in 2018 and recently published a paper titled “Comparative analyses of the Pan lineage reveal selection on gene pathways associated with diet and sociality in bonobos” in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior. Second and third authors are Jim Rilling, professor and department chair at Emory’s Department of Anthropology, and John Lindo, assistant professor at Emory’s Department of Anthropology.

“I feel like this paper was a great example of seizing an idea and making use of already existing data in that all the genomes are all publicly available online and we just needed the storage space and computational know-how to carry it out. The idea of ‘self domestication’ is something that I’ve been interested in and thinking about for a while, and I was hoping to work on similar topics for my dissertation. Even though I’m going in a different direction now it was a really nice way for me to build relationships with professors in the department after Adrian Jaeggi left Emory to continue his research at the University of Zurich. It also allowed me to dip my toes into other fields (genomics) and see how I could incorporate those techniques with my own interests and background working in the field with bonobos.”

Dr. James Rilling publishes article in Aeon Magazine about fatherhood research

While there has been a lot of research about how motherhood affects women, Dr. Rilling has been working to fill the gap by researching the effects of fatherhood on men. In the article he explains the effects of testosterone on the behavior of avian, primate, and human fathers, as well as his research on the effect of fatherhood on testosterone levels in men.

https://aeon.co/essays/how-raising-children-can-change-a-fathers-brain

Katya Bobrek (19C) publishes research on flour fortification standards

Most national, mandatory flour fortification standards do not align with international recommendations for iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 levels was published in Food Policy and can be viewed on Science Direct.

“Above all, I’m so grateful for the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Helena Pachón. I’m so excited to see that the results of our work are now available to be shared with others.”

Co-authors are Britt Broedersen, Nancy J. Aburto, Aashima Garg, Mary Serdula, Filiberto Beltrán Velázquez, Eugene C. Wong and Helena Pachón.