January 22 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Mother's Milk: Building Blocks and Blueprints for Infant BioBehavioral Development

Mother's Milk: Building Blocks and Blueprints for Infant BioBehavioral Development

Katie Hinde
Arizona State University

Mother’s milk is more than a food full of essential nutrients and more than a medicine packed with protective immunofactors. Mother’s milk contains maternal signals- hormones- that influence infant metabolism, neurobiology, and behavior. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that hormones from the mother, ingested through milk, bind to receptors within the young. Glucocorticoids in mother’s milk have been associated with offspring temperament, behavior, and cognition in rodents, monkeys, and humans. Among monkeys, glucocorticoids in mother’s milk, predict better cognitive performance and, independent of available milk energy, predict a more Nervous, less Confident temperament in both sons and daughters. Additionally, maternal-origin glucocorticoids in milk predict offspring growth. Taken collectively, emerging results suggest that mothers with fewer somatic resources may be “programming” behaviorally cautious offspring that prioritize growth through hormonal signaling. Glucocorticoids ingested through milk may importantly contribute to the assimilation of available milk energy, development of temperament, and orchestrate, in part, the allocation tradeoffs of maternal milk energy between growth and behavior.

Monday, January 22, 2018
12:00-1:30 pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


January 26 2018

ISG: Tiago Saraiva, "California Cloning in French Algeria: Rooting Pieds Noirs and Uprooting Fellahs in the Orange Groves of the Mitidja"

"California Cloning in French Algeria: Rooting Pieds Noirs and Uprooting Fellahs in the Orange Groves of the Mitidja"

Tiago Saraiva, PhD
Drexel University

This talk illuminates the role of cloning practices that originated in Southern California in the making of colonial relations in Algeria in the first half of the Twentieth Century. It explores the social and political dimensions of citrus production in Algeria under French rule detailing what travels and what gets transformed when technoscientific things such as oranges move around. Building on Frantz Fanon’s powerful plea for bringing together apparently disparate colonial experiences, I hint at the importance of grounding transnational history in concrete movements of people, ideologies, practices and material artifacts. The aim is to probe the value of the history of the life sciences for replacing too generic notions of colonialism common in social theory with transnational historical dynamics connecting distant spatial realities.

Friday, January 26, 2018
10:00am-11:30am
La Kretz Garden Pavilion room 100

For more information, please visit ISG


January 29 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Discriminating Ecologies: A Life History Approach to Stigma and Health

Discriminating Ecologies: A Life History Approach to Stigma and Health

Steven Neuberg
Arizona State University

How does being discriminated against affect a person’s health, and through what mechanisms? Most research has focused on two causal pathways, highlighting how discrimination increases psychological stress and exposure to neighborhood hazards. I advance an alternative, complementary set of mechanisms through which stigma and discrimination may shape health. Grounded in evolutionary biology’s life history theory, the framework holds that discrimination alters aspects of the physical and social ecologies in which people live, such as access to tangible economic resources, unpredictable extrinsic causes of early mortality, biased sex ratios, and community social networks. These discriminating ecologies, in turn, pull for specific behaviors and physiological responses (e.g., related to risk taking, sexual activity, offspring care, fat storage) that can be viewed as active, strategic, and rational given the threats and opportunities afforded by these ecologies, but which also have downstream implications for a wide range of health outcomes. This framework generates unique hypotheses, including predictions (a) about the effects of discrimination on a large number of (often underappreciated) negative health outcomes, ranging from physical injury and sexually transmitted diseases to diseases related to obesity and drug use; and (b) about the ecological factors that mediate between stigmatization and health outcomes, and the behavioral and physiological strategies these features engage. It also suggests specific approaches to intervention, while pointing to complex ethical issues. In all, the life history framework complements more traditional perspectives by providing nuanced insights and hypotheses about the discrimination-health relationship.

Monday, January 29, 2018
12:00-1:30 pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


January 31 2018

ISG: Terence D. Keel

TBA

Terence D. Keel
University of California, Santa Barbara

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
12:00pm-1:30pm
La Kretz Garden Pavilion room 100


February 5 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Minding the Gap: Inequality, Socioemotional Comparisons, and Risk-Sensitivity

Minding the Gap: Inequality, Socioemotional Comparisons, and Risk-Sensitivity

Sandeep Mishra
University of Regina

Substantial epidemiological evidence shows that higher levels of income inequality are associated with a wide array of negative societal-level outcomes, ranging from greater risk-taking and crime to poorer mental and physical health. However, surprisingly little research has examined individual-level consequences of inequality. Risk-sensitivity theory, developed in the field of behavioral ecology, may help to shed light on why inequality has such wide-ranging harmful effects. Risk-sensitivity theory specifically posits that that risk-taking is a product of conditions of need (i.e., disparity between one's present and desired/goal states). In this presentation, I explore how risk-sensitivity can be applied to understanding risk-taking under conditions of inequality. I also address research suggesting that proximate-level emotional reactions to social comparisons and disparity can shed light on risk-sensitive decision-making specifically, and mental health more generally.

Monday, February 5, 2018
12:00-1:30 pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


February 7 2018

ISG: Martine D. Lappé

TBA

Martine D. Lappé
Columbia University

Wednesday,February 7, 2018
12:00pm-1:30pm
La Kretz Garden Pavilion room 100


February 9 2018

ISG: Joelle M. Abi-Rached

TBA

Joelle M. Abi-Rached, PhD
Columbia University

Friday, February 9, 2018
10:00am-11:30am
La Kretz Garden Pavilion room 100


February 12 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Sensory Processing of Infectious Disease Threats

Sensory Processing of Infectious Disease Threats

Joshua Ackerman
University of Michigan

Functional psychological responses to the dangers of infectious disease first require perceiving that pathogenic threats exist. How do people detect such threats? One way is through use of conceptual knowledge from lay beliefs or direct communication, but another, perhaps more primitive, means involves use of specific sensory information. In this talk, I will review human and non-human evidence regarding detection of pathogen indicators, focusing on various domains of sensory cues. I will also consider the relevance of this evidence for our understanding of downstream consequences that occur following detection. These sensory processes and downstream outcomes are marked by biases that drive behavior in particular, often functional ways.

Monday, February 12, 2018
12:00-1:30 pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


February 21 2018

ISG: Bharat J. Venkat

TBA

Bharat J. Venkat
University of Oregon

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
12:00pm-1:30pm
La Kretz Garden Pavilion room 100


February 26 2018

BEC Seminar SeriesThe Evolutionary Origins of PTSD and Moral Injury: Evidence from a Small Scale Society.

The Evolutionary Origins of PTSD and Moral Injury: Evidence from a Small Scale Society.

Matthew Zefferman
Arizona State University

Combat veterans in western industrialized societies can develop a collection of symptoms classified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The origins of PTSD are a mystery. Some posit that it has deep evolutionary roots as a mechanism for avoiding and responding to harm. Others posit that it is socially constructed and perhaps unique to industrialized societies. I propose, with a gene-culture co-evolutionary theory of combat stress, that both perspectives are partially right and incomplete. This theory explains additional puzzling aspects of combat stress, such as the origins of "moral injury." I support this new theory with evidence from ethnographic research and interviews with Turkana warriors from northern Kenya.

Monday, February 26, 2018
12:00-1:30 pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC