roasting on an open fire - Stone-Age Europeans may have used fire
to increase their supply of acorns, says a British archaeobotanist.
Sarah Mason of University College London says there is evidence that
acorns were a favoured...
taste - Mothers frequently believe that their babies are born
liking what they ate while pregnant. It now turns out that they are
right. Benoist Schaal and his colleagues at the European Centre for
adaptive nature of the human neurocognitive architecture: An
alternative model PNAS -- Cerra and Bingham 95 (19): 11290 - The
model of the human neurocognitive architecture proposed by
evolutionary psychologists is based on the presumption that the
demands of hunter-gatherer life generated a vast array of cognitive
adaptations. Here we present an alternative model.
regulation of neuronal excitability by a voltage- independent
potassium conductance - Investigations of a neurotransmitter
receptor required for 'background' neuronal inhibition in mice show
the importance of such inhibition in keeping neuronal excitability
and social cheating in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum
- D. discoideum is highly attractive as a model system for social
cognition and animal minds - A paper by Colin Allen.
Soul - A history of the idea and a critique of reductionism. It
appeared in Paul Edwards, ed., 'The Encyclopedia of Philosophy'. N.Y.:
Macmillan and London: Collier-Macmillan, 1967, Vol. 1, pp. 122-27.
of Ideas - This essay appeared in Philip P. Wiener, ed.,
'Dictionary of the History of Ideas'. N.Y.: Scribner's, 1968, vol. 1,
memories - Gene-altered smart mice may be more sensitive to
and the General Evolutionary Process - Paper by William Baum.
inferences from the Skhul/Qafzeh early modern human hand remains -
These results support the inference of significant behavioral
differences between Neanderthals and the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids and
indicate that a significant shift in human manipulative behaviors was
associated with the earliest stages of the emergence of modern humans.
bottom - Most sexual ornaments are sported by male animals - but
not the olive baboon's backside.
- Blot the
difference - Sometimes low-tech is best for pinning down a fossil.
odour - Your genes help determine which perfume you prefer,
according to new research.
bottom-up approach with a clear view of the top - Online paper by
G. F. Miller and P. M. Todd.
disputes - The brain still resists researchers' attempts to divide
it into neat parcels.
Terrain - Mapping the functions of various areas.
a Brainier Mouse - By genetically engineering a smarter than
average mouse, scientists have assembled some of the central molecular
components of learning and memory.
Caveman’s New Clothes - From what they wore to how they hunted:
overturning the threadbare reconstructions of Ice Age culture.
and necessity - Although simple filamentous and spherical forms
may evolve wherever cellular life exists, the evolution of motile,
modular mega-organisms might not be a universal pattern.
cousins - It's vanishingly small. A mere 0.1 per cent is the
difference between your genome and mine. But those tiny bits could
help us get to grips with killer diseases, says Kathryn Brown.
science: The logic of human learning - There is a formal measure
of complexity that determines how natural a category is and how
difficult it is to learn.
feeding - The shape of women's breasts may have evolved to prevent
smothering during feeding
psychology meets evolutionary psychology - Paper presented at the
8th conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology
(ISTP), April 25-28, 2000, Sydney.
revolution in whale songs - The song patterns of humpback whales (Megaptera
novaeangliae) depend on where they live, with populations inhabiting
different ocean basins normally singing quite distinct songs. Here we
record a unique and radical song change in the song of humpback whales
in the Pacific Ocean off the Australian east coast.
edge - Molar teeth, the secret of mammals' evolutionary success,
may have developed twice.
thoughts - Freud may have been right: people can suppress
and the Genre of Biography - Published in G. Levine, ed., 'One
Culture: Essays in Science and Literature'. Madison: University of
Wisconsin Press, 1987, pp. 203-24.
Man and Metaphor - This is the text of a television documentary in
the series 'Late Great Victorians', BBC1, 1988. It was also published
in Science as Culture no. 5: 71-86, 1989.
Marx, Freud and the Foundations of the Human Sciences - This is a
talk on the grand view of the human sciences, presented to CHEIRON,
the European Society for the History of the Behavioural Sciences and
reprinted in its Newsletter, Spring 1988, pp. 7-12.
- Darwin on
the Evolution of Morality - Paper presented for the session on the
19th century biology, International Fellows Conference (Center for
Philosophy of Science, Univ. of Pittsburgh), May 20-24,
Castiglioncello, Italy by Soshichi Uchii, Kyoto University.
and the Division of Labour - The founding conference of the
British Society for the Social Responsibility in Science in November
1970, was on the theme, 'The Social Impact of Modern Biology'. The
conference was attended by a number of eminent scientists, e.g., Nobel
Laureates James Watson, Jaques Monod, Maurice Wilkins; David Bohm,
Jacob Bronowski, R.G. Edwards (of Steptoe & Edwards, the pioneers
of 'test-tube babies'), as well as some radicals, Hilary & Steven
Rose, John Beckwith. It was, perhaps, the last moment when radicals
and posh scientists were relatively united. The talk was published in
The Listener, 17 August 1972, pp. 202-5 and in Science as Culture no.
9: 110-24, 1990.
is Social - This essay appeared on David Kohn, ed., 'The Darwinian
Heritage'. Princeton and Nova Pacifica, 1985, pp. 609-638.
Metaphor and the Philosophy of Science - This was first presented
to the Piaget Seminar, University of Geneva, about 1986 and published
in Science as Culture (no. 16) 3: 375-403, 1993. It draws out the
philosophical implications of 'Darwin's Metaphor' (Cambridge, 1985),
in particular, the role of metaphorical and teleological language in
Development of Herbert Spencer's Concept of Evolution - A paper
delivered to the Eleventh International Congress of the History of
Science, Warsaw, August 1965 and published in Actes du Xle Congres
International d'Histoire des Sciences Warsaw: Ossolineum, 1967, vol.
2, pp. 273-78.
biology: Control by combinatorial codes - Studies in fruitflies
support the idea that regulatory regions of genes control development
by acting as molecular 'computers', calculating cell fate according to
the combined effects of several signalling pathways.
with destiny - Just when you thought it was safe to stop evolving,
culture and technology may be itching to wipe out your genes. Is human
evolution about to take off, asks Philip Cohen.
rams lose out by sperm depletion - Here we show that constraints
on sperm production mean that those males that are most successful in
overt contests can become ineffectual in covert sperm competition.
take - A 3.5 million year-old skull unearthed in Kenya may force a
re-examination of the evolution of modern humans.
Drosophila Netrin receptor Frazzled guides axons by controlling Netrin
distribution - Frazzled-dependent guidance of one pioneer neuron
in the central nervous system can be accounted for solely on the basis
of this ability of Frazzled to control Netrin distribution, and not by
Frazzled signalling. We propose a model of patterning mechanism in
which a receptor rearranges secreted ligand molecules, thereby
creating positional information for other receptors.
and genetic information - Clarification from David Roche.
and the Origins of Disease: November 1998 - Nesse and Williams'
Scientific American article on evolution and the origins of disease.
in mind - Studies of ancient artefacts and modern apes suggest
that the human mind evolved in five distinct stages. Steven Mithen at
the University of Reading thinks the biggest shift happened 30 000
Teleology, Intentionality - Online paper by Daniel Dennett.
evolutionary approach to the analysis, assessment and treatment of
behaviour problems in companion animals - These pages describe
research on behaviour undertaken by staff at the School of
Biology and Ideology: Then and Now - A paper contributed to a
conference on 'The Social Impact of Modern Biology'. It appeared in
Science Studies 1: 177-296, 1971.
biology: Deja vu - A long-term study of fruitflies adds to the
evidence that evolution can run backwards. To what extent the genetic
underpinnings revert to the original is unclear.
Ethics and Biologically Supportable Morality - A paper by Michael
Evolutionary Hypothesis For Eating Disorders - Abed, Riadh T
(1998) The sexual competition hypothesis for eating disorders. British
Journal of Medical Psychology 71(4):525-547.
Evolutionary Hypothesis For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Abed,
Riadh T and de Pauw, Karel W (1999) An Evolutionary Hypothesis for
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Psychological Immune System?.
Behavioural Neurology 11:245-250.
naturalism, theism, and skepticism about the external world -
Online paper by J. Wesley Robbins.
theory and the psychology of eating - Online paper by A. W. Logue.
attraction - Sexual selection is driving some fish towards
extinction, say researchers from New Mexico. They have found that
female Pecos pupfish prefer to mate with males of another species.
memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation
after retrieval - Here we show that consolidated fear memories,
when reactivated during retrieval, return to a labile state in which
infusion of anisomycin shortly after memory reactivation produces
amnesia on later tests, regardless of whether reactivation was
performed 1 or 14 days after conditioning.
and evolutionary psychology - Online paper by S. L. Hurley.
me not - How we bond with our nearest and dearest.
Prototools to Language - Technology is by no means a recent
invention. Philip & Phylis Morrison trace its origins back through
our prehistoric ancestry.
Origins of Religious Concepts - This is a profound essay on the
role of religion from an evolutionary perspective. Pascal Boyer, the
author, is one of the rising stars in evolutionary theory in the
Functions of Postpartum Depression - An online paper by Edward
Functions of the Brain: Gall to Ferrier (1808-1886) - An online
paper on mind, brain, and adaptation in the nineteenth century. It was
published in Isis 59: 251-68, 1968.
boys play - Have sexist pigs found something to crow about?
warrior - Iceland is Valhalla for geneticists. Virtually all the
country's 270 000 inhabitants are descended from settlers who
colonised the island in the ninth century AD. Its genealogical records
stretch back a thousand years and its medical records for a hundred,
so the country is uniquely placed for tracing inherited diseases. For
trying to exploit this resource, Kari Stefansson has gained a
reputation as a bad boy of genetics. After twenty years working as a
neuroscientist in the US, he set up deCODE Genetics and persuaded the
Icelandic government to sell the company exclusive access to the
nation's health records. The company goes public next week. Stefansson
has visions of Iceland as an international centre for biotech
research. But critics accuse him of making money from disease,
trampling on people's privacy and wrecking the relationship between
doctors and patients. Ehsan Masood speaks to the man at the centre of
a modern-day saga.
control and evolution of sexually dimorphic characters in Drosophila
- A key challenge in evolutionary biology is to identify genetic
events responsible for morphological change, and to understand how
changes at the molecular level affect development and translate into
enhancement of inflammatory pain by forebrain NR2B overexpression
- Our study implicates a molecular mechanism by which forebrain
activity could modulate behavioral responses to inflammatory pain.
talk - Women chat up men and without knowing it, says scientist.
ape DNA sequences reveal a reduced diversity and an expansion in
humans - The extent of DNA sequence variation of chimpanzees is
several-fold greater than that of humans.
healthy mind - Why are great apes resistant to the ravages of
Host with Infectious Ideas - Paul W. Ewald argues that most
cancers, heart disease and other chronic ills stem from infections. If
correct, his theory will change the course of medicine.
neurons in the human brain - We found single neurons in the
hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus
that selectively altered their firing rates depending on the stimulus
the subjects were imagining.
recognition and experience of disgust following brain injury -
Here we describe evidence, from a patient with insula and putamen
damage, for a neural system for recognizing social signals of disgust
from multiple modalities.
dopamine release in the human amygdala during performance of cognitive
tasks - These data provide evidence for sustained activation of
the human mesolimbic dopaminergic system during performance of
and Evolutionary Psychology - Online paper by David Buller.
Evolutionary psychology meets g - An analysis by Neil Mackintosh.
detection and "mindreading": Why does game form matter? PNAS
-- McCabe et al. 97 (8): 4404 - By around the age of 4 years,
children "can work out what people might know, think or
believe" based on what they say or do. This is called
"mindreading," which builds upon the human ability to infer
the intentions of others.
the mind of a killer - Brain imaging studies are starting to
venture into the legal minefield of research into criminal
psychopathy. Alison Abbott reports from one of the most controversial
frontiers of neuroscience.
beauty in the eye of the beholder? - Why are some humans
considered more beautiful than others? Theory suggests that sexually
reproducing organisms should choose mates displaying characters
indicative of high genotypic or phenotypic quality.
- Is our
perception of infanticide all wrong? - Magnus Enquist and his
colleagues at Stockholm University dispute the findings.
Out of Africa Going Out the Door? - Reanalysis of gene studies and
new fossil evidence cast doubts of a popular theory of human origins.
There a Normal Phase of Synaesthesia in Development? - A paper in
Psyche by Simon Baron-Cohen.
started with a kiss - Photo: Tony StoneFrom a simple peck to a
full-blown snog, who invented this bizarre habit of ours?
in the air - We may be able to pick up chemical signals after all.
ape sequencing effort set to unravel the brain's secrets - The
genetics and neurology of apes could pave the way to a better
understanding of the relationship between the human genome and the
can't get enough - Your body can become hooked on blackjack,
I tell myself - Last week I went to the dogs--literally. While the
spectacle provided by greyhounds running round and round in circles
was evidently sufficient to fill a stadium, my eyes were firmly on the
Kill - Did humans hunt giant mammals to extinction? Or give them
age and traits in offspring - The timing of a mouse's first litter
influences the development of her pups.
- Memes and
the Exploitation of Imagination - Online paper by Daniel Dennett.
calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial
temporal areas - We found that the expert could switch between
short-term effort-requiring storage strategies and highly efficient
episodic memory encoding and retrieval, a process that was sustained
by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas.
midwives - Long maligned as mere blobs, amoebas turn out to have a
caring, sharing side. By watching colonies under a microscrope,
researchers in Israel have discovered that other amoebas come to the
phantoms - There's nothing supernatural about ghosts, doppelgängers
and out-of-body experiences, says a Swiss neuroscientist. They are
simply phantom sensations like a phantom limb, he says, but spread to
theory - The brain regions critical in allowing us to understand
another person's thoughts are revealed.
of Boolean complexity in human concept learning - The data reveal
a surprisingly simple empirical 'law': the subjective difficulty of a
concept is directly proportional to its Boolean complexity (the length
of the shortest logically equivalent propositional formula)—that is,
to its logical incompressibility.
Than the Best Medicine: - Hear the one about the baboon with the
wooden leg? Laughing to make friends and influence others.
mystery of female beauty - Evolutionary psychology suggests that a
woman's sexual attractiveness might be based on cues of reproductive
naked chef - Chimpanzees are on their way to becoming half-decent
chefs. Captive chimps in Madrid have begun to purée their own fruits
and vegetables, in what looks like the first case of an ape
Selection: Evolving evolvability - In yeast, a modified protein
known as a prion generates variation in growth rate across diverse
environments. Is this an example of an agent that has evolved in order
to promote its possessor's adaptability?
Naturalization of Value Systems in the Human Sciences - This essay
first appeared as an Open University Course Unit for 'Science and
Belief: from Darwin to Einstein', Block VI: Problems in the Biological
and Human Sciences. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1981, pp.
genetic correlation between male sexual attractiveness and survival
- Here I show that sexual attractiveness in male guppies (Poecilia
reticulata) is heritable and genetically correlated with
basis for first- and second-order representations of bodily states
- Our findings provide empirical support for a theory proposing a
hierarchical representation of bodily states.
and the philosophy of cognitive science - Online paper by Brian L.
derived from radial glial cells establish radial units in neocortex
- Here we show that clones consist of mitotic radial glia and
postmitotic neurons, and that neurons migrate along clonally related
Good memories of bad events in infancy - We found that very young
rat pups exposed to various odours associated with shock treatment
learn an approach response to that odour, whereas older pups learn
neighbours are worlds apart - The narrow Strait of Gibraltar was a
more effective barrier to early human migration than the whole of the
Sahara, geneticists claim. David Comas of the Pompeu Fabra University
in Barcelona and his...
fingers - Modern man may have out-competed his Neanderthal cousins
by having a finer touch.
a game? - Do kids who like zapping people on screen take their
aggression onto the streets? Guy Cumberbatch doesn't believe the hype.
of Africa - Advances in DNA sequencing give big boost to theory
that humanity was born in Africa.
Pit Stop - A French site suggests Neandertals and early modern
humans behaved similarly.
people - Memory can be boosted by associating smells with learning
- but odours can lead to failure too.
and the Brain - Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker plumbs the
evolutionary origins of language and behavior while keeping his
detractors at bay.
fair - Are you breathtakingly mean or perfectly equitable? Kate
Douglas investigates where your moral sense comes from, and how we can
eat me - Yeast cells offer themselves on a plate to avert famine.
intelligence - Slime mould displays computing ability in maze
problem of variation - One genetic source of the sex-specific
variation in pigmentation patterns of different fruitfly species has
been identified. This study illustrates the power of bringing together
developmental and evolutionary biology.
my mind - Imagine you had cells in your brain that could read
other people's minds. Well, you do. And they could be the key to human
language, empathy, even society, says Alison Motluk.
prediction of hand trajectory by ensembles of cortical neurons in
primates - Here we recorded the simultaneous activity of large
populations of neurons, distributed in the premotor, primary motor and
posterior parietal cortical areas, as non-human primates performed two
distinct motor tasks.
The mystery of female beauty - Yu and Shepard reply — We have
proposed that cultural invariance in beauty preferences could be an
artefact of exposure to a dominant culture, and also that evolutionary
psychology should embrace variation because adaptive evolution is as
likely to produce variable outcomes as fixed ones.
Roots of Homicide - The U.S. property crime rate matches those of
most other industrialized countries, but its homicide rate exceeds
western Europe’s by 4 to 1 and Japan’s by 7 to 1. The historical
roots of this disparity may lie not in the Western frontier, as many
believe, but in the institution of slavery and the unusual history of
firearms in America.
me, feel me - A gentle caress may help you see better, say
scientists in London. Their finding suggests that regions of the brain
dedicated to the individual senses communicate with each other in more
and the right hemisphere - Our findings indicate that neural
substrates of the right hemisphere may selectively participate in
processes linked to self-awareness.
conflict and speciation - Sexual conflict occurs because males are
selected to produce as many offspring as possible, even if this means
lowering the overall reproductive output of individual females. A new
model proposed by Gavrilets suggests that strong asymmetries between
males and females in the costs and benefits of mating will create
runaway coevolution between the sexes, promoting rapid divergence
between populations and hence speciation.
of female - Men can smell when women are at their most fertile,
according to a T-shirt test in Texas
smile is just a smile - Don't kid yourself, she's only checking
out your credentials.
- So you
think you're in love? - Some say love is blind. Others say it
defies explanation. But two cognitive neurologists in Britain say that
love is just a specific type of brain activity. Andreas Bartels and
Semir Zeki at University...
of the clearest - There are no fossils to show how language
evolved. But evolutionary game theory is revealing how some of the
defining features of human language could have been shaped by natural
selection. Article by Steven Pinker.
- Crossed wires in the brain give colour to numbers.
the plunge - Our distant ancestors' fondness for a swim may
explain why humans are such unusual primates. Kate Douglas takes a new
look at a controversial old theory.
about the genome - Biologists must take responsibility for the
correct use of language in genetics.
of intelligence - Can intelligence really be localised to a single
Hamilton's rule with competition between relatives - Here we
report that—contrary to Hamilton's original prediction but in
agreement with recent theory-the level of fighting between males shows
no correlation with the estimated relatedness of interacting males,
but is negatively correlated with future mating opportunities.
the way the money goes - Life's so unfair. The rich get richer,
while the rest of us just scrape by. Is society to blame or are deeper
forces at work, asks Mark Buchanan.
do it with mirrors - nullWho'd have thought that you could make
the brain pay attention to a useless limb, or even exercise a phantom
one with only a mirror for help, says Helen Phillips.
in the reversibility of evolution - Here we show that reverse
evolution back to the ancestral state occurs, but is not universal,
instead depending on previous evolutionary history and the character
like a human - Design your circuit like a brain and it'll be
almost as smart.
woman who dared to ask - How do you study sex? Stick electrodes on
penises and vulvas? Place hidden cameras in people's bedrooms? Do
face-to-face interviews with embarrassed subjects? Shere Hite should
know. After all, she showed in her famous Hite reports that the
clitoris is more than button- sized. For her, there's much more to sex
than measuring electrical stimuli or chemical secretions. But if sex
research isn't about crude calibration or producing a better Viagra,
then what is it? Liz Else was curious.
Wars - New evidence that a mother’s and father’s “imprinted
genes” battle to determine a baby’s size.
mums - Mothers that give birth very young or very old pass
problems down the generations, at least in mice.
- Assessing Genetic
Risks - A complete book from the National Academy Press available
- Behavioral Measures
of Neurotoxicity - Online publication.
Disciplines in the Brain, Behavioral, and Clinical Sciences -
Terry C. Pellmar and Leon Eisenberg, Editors; Committee on Building
Bridges in the Brain, Behavioral, and Clinical Sciences; Division of
Neuroscience and Behavioral Health. A complete online volume.
- Cells and Surveys
- Should Biological Measures Be Included in Social Science Research?
Caleb E. Finch, James W. Vaupel, and Kevin Kinsella, Editors;
Committee on Population, National Research Council. The full text is
Darwin - On the Origin of Species - HTML version of Darwin's
Darwin - The Descent of Man - HTML version of Darwin's most
Darwin - The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals - A
foundational text in evolutionary psychology.
Darwin - The Voyage of the Beagle - Darwin's own account of his
- Computer Science
and Artificial Intelligence - Panel on Computer Science and
Artifical Intelligence, National Research Council, 1997. A complete
online volume from the National Academy Press.
- Darwin's Metaphor
- An influential work on the social context of Darwinism.
- Discovering the
Brain - Sandra Ackerman for the Institute of Medicine, National
Academy of Sciences. A complete online volume.
- The Effects of a
Threatening Rumor on a Disaster-Stricken Community - Disaster
Research Group, Division of Anthropology and Psychology, National
Academy of Sciences, 1958. A complete online volume from the National
- Evaluating Human
Genetic Diversity - Committee on Human Genome Diversity, National
Research Council. The full text is available online.
- Genetics and the
Origin of Species - From Darwin to Molecular Biology 60 Years
After Dobzhansky. The full text of the book is available online in
- In the Mind's Eye:
- Online publication.
Remembering, Believing - National Academy Press publication
- Modeling Human and
Organizational Behavior: Application to Military Simulations -
Richard W. Pew and Anne S. Mavor, Editors; Panel on Modeling Human
Behavior and Command Decision Making: Representations for Military
Simulations, National Research Council. Complete text online.
- Nature and Human
Society - National Academy Press online publication.
- The Psychological
Well-Being of Nonhuman Primates - Complete online publication from
the National Academy Press.
- Science and
Creationism - Complete online book from the National Academy
- Shaping the Future:
Biology and Human Values - Complete text online from National
- Teaching About
Evolution and the Nature of Science - Online book from the
- Tempo and Mode in
Evolution - Genetics and Paleontology 50 Years After Simpson.
Walter M. Fitch and Francisco J. Ayala, Editors, for the National
Academy of Sciences. The full text is available here.
Henry Huxley - Autobiography and Selected Essays - Online book.
- Uncommon Measures:
Equivalence and Linkage Among Educational Tests - Michael J.
Feuer, Paul W. Holland, Bert F. Green, Meryl W. Bertenthal, and F.
Cadell Hemphill, Editors; Committee on Equivalency and Linkage of
Educational Tests, National Research Council. Complete text online.
- Understanding and
Preventing Violence, Volume 1 - National Academy Press complete
- Understanding and
Preventing Violence, Volume 2 - National Academy Press complete
- Understanding and
Preventing Violence, Volume 3 - National Academy Press complete
- Understanding and
Preventing Violence, Volume 4 - National Academy Press complete
Violence Against Women - Nancy A. Crowell and Ann W. Burgess,
Editors; Panel on Research on Violence Against Women, National
Research Council. Complete online publication from the National
James - The Varieties of Religious Experience - A classic work by
one of the first scientists to apply evolutionary ideas to psychology.
Papers and Books on Evolutionary Psychology