News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The Weekly Edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 1: Issue 13 - 12th May, 2001

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Genes on the Couch: Explorations in Evolutionary Psychotherapy by Paul Gilbert (Editor), Kent G. Bailey (Editor)

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The Evolutionists: The Struggle for Darwin's Soul by Richard Morris
[read an excerpt]

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Everyday Irrationality: How pseudo-scientists, lunatics, and the rest of us systematically fail to think rationally by Robyn Dawes
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The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers and the Shaping of the World by Hugh Brody
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Mind in Everyday Life and Cognitive Science by Sunny Y. Auyang
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Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology by Ricard V. Solé, Brian Goodwin
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Sex and Longevity: Sexuality, Gender, Reproduction, Parenthood (Research and Perspectives in Longevity) by Jean-Marie Robine (Editor), T. B. L. Kirkwood (Editor), M. Allard (Editor)
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Tree of Origin: What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us About Human Social Evolution by Frans B. M. De Waal (Editor)

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Primate Taxonomy (Smithsonian Series in Comparative Evolutionary Biology) by Colin P. Groves
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Addiction - A BBC documentary has revealed that more than a million adults in Britain are hooked on drugs prescribed for them by their physicians. [more]

Eating disorders - Genetic research and brain imaging studies are uncovering the biologic basis for eating disorders such as the binge-purge condition bulimia nervosa, according to Walter Kaye. [more]

Human evolution - Stone Age tribes living on the Andaman islands at the eastern edge of the Bay of Bengal migrated from Africa far earlier than previously thought, according to a study which says they may have been living in isolation from the rest of the world for more than 60,000 years. [more]

Creationism - Phillip Johnson began his talk on intelligent design at Pacific Lutheran University with a sort of victory cry. [more]

Classification - Edward Rothstein takes a look at the art and science of taxonomy. [more]

Human genome - The "completion" of the sequencing is something of a false milestone, an abstraction, a bit like the turning of the millennium. There is, after all, no such thing as a human genome. [more]

Athletics - The New York Times looks at the threat of genetic engineering. [more] International Herald Tribune.

Mate choice - Fusion of ideas from the two major areas of modern evolutionary biology is helping to explain why females prefer to mate with mature males. [more]

Homosexuality - The American Psychiatric Association is skeptical about claims that sexual orientation can be changed. [more] and [more], Yahoo.

Science and society - Scientific understanding has probably expanded more in the past 50 years than in all previous history. [more]

Gender - When a baby's anatomy doesn't fit our notions of male or female the surgeons often step in. But are we simply pandering to social prejudices? Helen Phillips investigates. [more]

Darwin and racism - A bid to brand Charles Darwin's theory of evolution as racist was derailed on Tuesday. [more] and [more]

Primatology - The only chimpanzee research facility in Europe is to shut down. On 27 April, the Dutch government announced it would follow the advice of an expert panel, by ending research on the chimpanzees at the Biomedical Primate Research Center in Rijswijk, the Netherlands. [more]

God and the brain - In a quiet laboratory, Andrew Newberg takes photographs of what believers call the presence of God. [more]

Size matters - Tall men have more children than their shorter friends - because they have more wives, according to Ulrich Mueller and Allan Mazur. New Scientist, Yahoo.

Homosexuality - A controversial US study suggests that gay people can become heterosexual if they really want to. BBC News Online, New York Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman, ABC News.

Editor's choice Genetics - 'Three parents and a baby' - A number of children have been born after cytoplasm transfer, but  the technique isn't particularly new: the first cytoplasm transfer baby was born four years ago. Nor is the study itself: the paper appeared in the journal Human Reproduction in March, but no-one outside the scientific world took much notice. [more] and [more]

Human genome - William Haseltine claims to have found more than 90,000 genes, but the HGP stands by the estimate of 30,000. [more]

Creationism - School districts in the US can require teachers to teach evolution even if they don't personally accept the theory. [more]

Domestication - Patterns of genetic variation in modern goats reveal that, although they were domesticated in several places, the descendents of these pioneers have since intermingled, interbred and spread far and wide. [more]

Race - Is there a biological basis for race differences? A debate between Rushton and Graves. [more]

Medicine - Dr. Robert
Schwartz of the New England Journal of Medicine writes that 'race is a social construct, not a scientific classification,' [more] and [more]

Depression - David Healy claims that Prozac, the bestselling drug of all time, can drive people to suicide - even if they aren't depressed. [more ] Eli Lilly, which makes the anti-depressant Prozac, is enthusiastic about the new drug duloxetine. [more]

Science - 'Some decisions on matters that demand scientific expertise seem to ignore the best scientific evidence, favoring instead the contrarian views of scientific minorities,' according to Tom Siegfried. [more]

Primatology - Borneo's apes are facing extinction as the jungle shrinks. [more]

Prozac and poverty - What if you could help end people's economic problems by treating their depression? [more]

Anthropology - Americans get anorexia. Nigerians get 'brain fag.' Malaysians suffer from 'hyperstartle syndrome.' How culturally specific is mental illness? [more]

Cybernetics - Researchers intend to implant computer chips in a British professor and his wife to see if they can communicate sensation and movement by thought alone. [more]

Racism - Charles Darwin’s theory on how humans evolved are racist and are the direct cause of race problems in Louisiana, the state’s house education committee has decided. [more], [more] and [more]


Editor's choice Addiction - Eliot Gardner, Stanislav Vorel and their colleagues have reported a study of an area of the hippocampus called ventral subiculum—known to be involved in feelings of "wanting,". The findings suggest a dissociation of neural systems subserving positive reinforcement (self-stimulation) and incentive motivation (relapse). Scientific American, Science.

Autism - Children with autism are more likely to have abnormal blood metal levels. [more] The number of reported cases of autism has increased 10-fold in the last few decades, from 1 in 2,500 in the 1970s to 1 in 250 in the 1990s. [more]

Human evolution - Mark Cane and Peter Molnar have uncovered new factors that may have influenced human evolution. [more]

Editor's choice Out of Africa - An international study of Y chromosomal DNA shows that East Asian populations migrated out of Africa and suggests that little or no interbreeding of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens occurred after the migration. Eurekalert, BBC News Online [audio], Science, All Africa, Scientific American, Reuters, BioMedNet. See also Current Opinion in Genetics and Development.

Eating disorders - Genetic research and brain imaging studies are uncovering the biologic basis for eating disorders such as the binge-purge condition bulimia nervosa, according to a researcher. [more]

Body image - Women are up to 10 times more likely to have a distorted body image than men, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Eurekalert, BBC News Online, The Guardian, Yahoo.

Depression and obesity - Daniel S. Pine and colleagues have found that being severely depressed in childhood could increase the likelihood that a person will become obese as an adult. [more]

Editor's choice Neuroevolutionary biology - Princeton and Bell Labs scientists have devised a simple but powerful method for analyzing brain anatomy, providing the first reliable measure of how brains of humans and other mammals are related to one another across evolution. Eurekalert, Nature Science Update, Commentary, Nature.

Genome research and human population history  - Less than 50 people founded the entire population of Europe, according to a new and accurate way to read demographic history from the genome. [more] and [more] Eurekalert, Nature.

Evolutionary genomics - Are genomes made up of strings of genes in no particular order? It seems not, given the abundance on the mouse sex chromosomes of genes involved in the manufacture of sperm. [more]

Evolution - The Proceedings of the National Academy looks into the future of evolution. [more]

Sexual behaviour - New understanding of the mechanisms of sex differentiation could result from research in the neuropharmacology of sexual behavior. [more]

Education - A study of public early-childhood education is tracking a "snowball effect" of positive outcomes, including new data showing significant declines in juvenile crime and dropout rates. [more] and [more]

Psychiatry - While the drug classes known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) were associated with a higher rate of sexual dysfunction, other antidepressants were associated with significantly lower rates, namely bupropion and nefazodone. [more]

Neuroscience - Schlaug and colleagues have found significant differences in the gray matter distribution between professional musicians trained at an early age and non-musicians. [more] and [more]

Self - Bruce L. Miller and colleagues have identified the area of the brain that controls our sense of self. [more]. Scientific American, Feed Magazine.

Mind and body - A positive emotional state at an early age may help ward off disease and even prolong life. [more]

Physiology - Nicolas Vibert has found that men are 'floppier' than women - whiplash experts are confused. [more], Journal of Physiology.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - Adults who have restless legs syndrome are more likely to also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than adults who don't have the sleep disorder, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology’s 53rd Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. [more]

Gender and language - Rob Thomson and colleagues have found that email style depends on the gender of the recipient, but that languages differences are less pronounced in conversation. [more], Psychological Science.

Autism - Canadian investigators say that genetically determined low maternal dopamine ß-hydroxylase (DßH) activity may play a role in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders in some cases. [more]

Extremism - Brain Appleyard reviews Them: adventures with extremists by Jon Ronson. [more]

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - David Michelson discusses evidence for an experimental drug that could offer an effective nonstimulant alternative treatment. [more]

Editor's choice Stress - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reviews The Encyclopedia of Stress edited by George Fink. [more]
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Violence - David McDowall reviews Gun Violence: The Real Costs by Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig. [more] [read a chapter]

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Internet pornography - There's no data to tell whether Internet porn sites warp adolescents, but the question needs study, say psychiatrists on an American Psychiatric Association panel. [more] and [more]

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Motherhood - Nine women reveal frankly what pregnancy and motherhood was really like from the moment they saw the blue line on the pregnancy test up until their child’s first birthday. [more]

Editor's choice Gender differences - Michel Treisman discusses censorship of his hypothesis concerning 'why there are fewer idiots and fewer geniuses among women (assuming that is indeed the case when social factors are controlled). But the model can also be applied to cases in which males are more likely to show one extreme only'. [more]

Science - David Hull reviews Real Science: What it is, and What it Means by John Ziman. [more]

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Neurotheology - 'To suggest there is a God out there and our brains have been designed to interact with "Him" plays into the hands of creationists and other enemies of real science'. [more]

History - Randal Keynes, author of Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution answers your questions online on Monday, June 4 at 2pm. [more]
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Nature or nurture? - Correspondents of New Scientist respond to the article by Dickens and Flynn on IQ and genes. [more]

Language - A call for commentators on How children learn the meanings of words by Paul Bloom. [more]

History - Steven Rose reviews Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution by Randal Keynes. [more]
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History - Roy Porter reviews Alfred Russel Wallace by Peter Raby and The Man Who Found the Missing Link: The Extraordinary Life of Eugene Dubois  by Pat Shipman. [more] [read an excerpt]

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SEARCH: This site (1200+ pages), - brain, behaviour and evolution (12,000+ pages), - mental health and psychiatry (1600+ pages).

Depression - Erica Wagner reviews The Noonday Demon: an Anatomy of Depression Andrew Solomon. [more]

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Depression - Nicci Gerrard reviews The Noonday Demon: an Anatomy of Depression Andrew Solomon. [more]
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