Neuroarchaeology and an Indonesian seafood experience

Dr. Shelby Putt
Dr. Shelby Putt-paleoanthropologist and seafood lover.

Are you kept up a night trying to tackle the problems of early hominid evolution? Like, what’s the significance of language to the production of stone tools? Or, what’s going on in a person’s brain while they are knapping away on some stones? Well, grab some popcorn and hold on to your seat and brace yourself for some hardcore knowledge! We had the privilege to chat with Dr. Shelby Putt from the Stone Age Institute in Indiana who is doing some really exceptional and intriguing research.

Shelby has been working hard on a study to understand what’s going on in the human brain during stone tool production. Using imaging technology of modern human brains her research focuses on the Oldowan and Acheulian stone tool industries to find some answers.   Through her hard work and passion,  Shelby has revealed a lot about our early ancestors and the stone tools they produced. I could write more but I’ll leave it to the expert to explain it so you need to download and listen to the podcast!

A different view, showing the model flintknapping while having her brain activity measured with NIRS (Dr. Shelby Putt in the background at the NIRS system)
Digitizing a participant’s head.
Acheulean network.

In the closing moments of the interview. The food portion of the program. Shelby admits she is a picky eater. I think this is code for, “I don’t cook.” Anyway, she does share with us her experience abroad. We’ve all been there. We’ve had food put in front of us that confronts our long-held food phobia or avoidance. I have a friend who gags at the sight of strawberries. That’s extreme.  Shelby’s isn’t so extreme. She just didn’t like seafood. This all changed when she did fieldwork in Indonesia. It’s a great story about being human, letting go, and trying something new! Enjoy!

Dr. Shelby Putt breaking down walls-BOOM!

An informative link that goes along with the interview.

A short clip of a training video that the study participants watched

Check out this episode!

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