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News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 4: Issue 109 -  18 January, 2004 - http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

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NEWS & VIEWS

Foreign aid (17 Jan) - It's axiomatic that foreign aid benefits the recipient and not the donor - isn't it? Spare a thought this bleak new year for all those who rely on charity and open your hearts, for example, to a group of people who, though they live in London, are in such desperate need of handouts that last year they received 7.6 million pounds in foreign aid from the British government. [more]


Sex (15 Jan) - A new survey from the University of Chicago finds that average, single, city dwellers spends most of their adult lives unmarried and the study goes on to identify the marketplaces where singles search for various sorts of companionship, from true love to something less lasting. The survey's findings reveal an ongoing sexual evolution that could also be the harbinger of a social revolution, with American singles on the verge of becoming the new majority. But whether that's by accident or design is another question. [more]


Language (16 Jan) - How do animals think and communicate with each other? And what can studying animals tell us about the evolution of language in humans? In this hour, NPR's Ira Flatow and guests look at thought and communication in apes, gorillas and monkeys. What can non-human primates tell us about communication in humans? [more]


Face - emotion (15 Jan) - Some people say a face is like an open book. For psychologist Paul Ekman, the face is more than that, it's the Rosetta stone of human evolution. Ekman has spent his life studying the language of facial expressions, identifying, mapping, and interpreting the emotions they reveal. [more]


Race relations (13 Jan) - The meeting of 33 elected leaders of the Americas continues Tuesday in Monterrey, Mexico. What are the challenges facing Afro-Latin Americans in the region, particularly regarding race matters? NPR's Tavis Smiley gets analysis from Melissa Nobles, associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anani Dzidzienyo, associate professor of Africana Studies and Portuguese-Brazilian Studies at Brown University. [more]


Behavioural problems (14 Jan) - Since a compelling experiment was shown on the BBC's Child of Our Time last week, sales of Omega-3 supplements have rocketed. But, asks Ian Sample, are behavioural problems so easily solved? [more]


Peer review (8 Jan) - Expert review of scientific information is usually a good thing. But as a recent White House proposal to expand peer review of government regulatory science shows, there are big exceptions. [more]


Ethics (15 Jan) - NPR's Alex Chadwick speaks with NPR's Ira Flatow, host of Talk of the Nation Science Friday, about the evolving ethical standards of museums concerning the acquisition and preservation of rare artifacts. [more]


Psychopathy (13 Jan) -   Millions of harassed workers could have their worst fears confirmed about their bosses thanks to a new test to weed out the 'corporate psycho'. [more]


Conservation (13 Jan) - The world, if the biologists' projections turn out to be correct, will soon begin to revert to the Bible's fourth day of creation. There will be grass and "herb-yielding seed" and "the fruit tree yielding fruit". But "the moving creature that hath life", the "fowl that may fly above the Earth", or the "great whales, and every living creature that moveth" may one day be almost unknown to us. [more]


Experimental psychology (22 Dec) - Stanley Milgram wanted to test the limits of authority in a supposedly civilized country to see just how much cruelty would average people inflict on their fellow citizens just because they were told to. In the famous electroshock experiment, 65 percent of the volunteers -- some of them clean-cut Yale men -- believed they were torturing Milgram's test subjects, and did so just because a man in a lab coat told them to. The famous experiment is still Exhibit A in every college psychology course. But what did it prove? [more]


Archaeology - development (12 Jan) - Scientists describe Ethiopia as the cradle of humanity. It is home to perhaps the most famous prehistoric remains ever found, and the world's oldest human remains. Now the country is turning to its prehistoric finds to use them as a catalyst for promoting tourism as a means of boosting its development. [more]

RESEARCH & COMMENTARY

Language - human evolution (15 Jan) - The key cognitive step that allowed humans to become the only animals using language may have been identified, scientists say. A new study on monkeys found that while they are able to understand basic rules about word patterns, they are not able to follow more complex rules that underpin the crucial next stage of language structure. [more] and [more]


EuroNews BBC News   Channel Four News (UK) CBC News (Canada) ABC News (Australia) FeedRoom (US) Deutsche Welle RTÉ News (Ireland) CBS News (US) BBC News 24 BBC Newsnight BBC Question Time BBC Radio Player, BBC World Service, Today, Newshour, The World Today, Radio Netherlands, NPR Hourly News, Talk of the Nation, Science in Action, Discovery, One Planet, The Material World, Thinking Allowed, Heart and Soul, Case Notes, Health Matters, Everywoman United Nations US Congress UK Parliament.

Audio and Video

Media - Logical Media Lunacy involves ignoring known facts and documented history, and violating elementary norms of rational debate to the point of insanity, but in a way that consistently benefits powerful interests. Thus media performance might be likened to a series of insane fits of irrational behaviour - but with every 'fit' nevertheless manifesting a consistent pattern benefiting the same vested interests in the same way. [more] The BBC's former Middle East Correspondent explains why the corporation ducks the story of the Palestinians. [more]

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Disgust (14 Jan) - The purpose of disgust has been quantitatively demonstrated for the first time - it is an evolved response that protects people from disease or harm. [more] and [more]


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Genetics - brain evolution (13 Jan) - Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified a gene that appears to have played a role in the expansion of the human brain's cerebral cortex -- a hallmark of the evolution of humans from other primates. [more] and [more]



Human evolution (12 Jan) - For years, scholars regarded the appearance of figurative art as the initiation of an evolutionary process -- that art became progressively more sophisticated as humans experimented with styles and techniques and passed this knowledge to the next generation. But a growing body of evidence suggests that modern humans, virtually from the moment they appeared in Ice Age Europe, were able to produce startlingly sophisticated art. [more]


Intelligence (11 Jan) - Intelligence in the workplace is not that different from intelligence at school, according to the results of a meta-analysis of over one hundred studies involving more than 20,000 people. The findings contradict the popular notion that abilities required for success in the real world differ greatly from what is needed to achieve success in the classroom. The results are published in the January issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. [more]


Psychotherapy (10 Jan) - Cognitive behaviour therapy triggers a different pattern of changes in brain activity than that triggered by the antidepressant paroxetine, according to a small pilot study that provides the first scan based evidence that the treatments work in different ways. [more]

REVIEWS & DISCUSSION

Intellectual history - John McWhorter reviews Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 by Charles Murray. [review]

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Choice - Jonathon Keats reviews The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by by Barry Schwartz. [review]

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Progress - In his new book, "The Progress Paradox" Gregg Easterbrook says Americans are better off than they've ever been before, but they just don't know it. The solution he says if for people to wake up and smell the prosperity. [more]

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Pheromones - James V. Kohl reviews Pheromones and Animal Behaviour: Communication by Smell and Taste by Tristram D. Wyatt. [review] [sample chapter]

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Emotional intelligence - Kamuran Godelek reviews The Wisdom in Feeling: Psychological Processes in Emotional Intelligence edited by Peter Salovey and Lisa Feldman Barrett. [review]

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Religion - Fritz Allhoff reviews Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society by David Sloan Wilson.  [review]

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Psychiatry - philosophy - Duncan Double reviews Nature and Narrative: An Introduction to the New Philosophy of Psychiatry edited by Bill Fulford, Katherine Morris, John Sadler, Giovanni Stanghellini. [review]

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