Gregory J. Downey

Ph.D (University of Chicago)
Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University
PopAnth Community Advisor, Founding Member

Greg Downey is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Macquarie University in Sydney, and a Research Fellow in the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science. Greg trained in cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago, working primarily in Brazil and the United States before moving to Australia. His principal research interests are in sports, dance, and skill acquisition, where he tries to bring together research from anthropology and the brain sciences with evolutionary theory, psychology, and sports science.

Greg is co-founder of the blog Neuroanthropology and has co-authored The Encultured Brain along with Daniel Lende.


Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art is a provocative look at capoeira, a demanding acrobatic art that combines dance, ritual, music, and fighting style. First created by slaves, freedmen, and gang members, capoeira is a study in contrasts that integrates African-descended rhythms and flowing dance steps with hard lessons from the street. According to veteran …

With the NASDAQ having lost 70 percent of its value, the giddy, optimistic belief in perpetual growth that accompanied the economic boom of the 1990s had fizzled by 2002. Yet the advances in information and communication technology, management and production techniques, and global integration that spurred the “New Economy” of the 1990s had triggered profound and lasting changes. …

The brain and the nervous system are our most cultural organs. Our nervous system is especially immature at birth, our brain disproportionately small in relation to its adult size and open to cultural sculpting at multiple levels. Recognizing this, the new field of neuroanthropology places the brain at the center of discussions about human nature and culture. Anthropology offers brain science …

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