News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 43 - 26th January, 2002.
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Combat exposure - With the Vietnam War in the somewhat distant past, people need to be reminded about the crippling occupational, marital and psychological effects on soldiers who fight wars, says a Yale researcher who is studying veterans. [more]


Scottish Association for Mental Health - Concerns are being raised about the long-term effects of the new generation of anti-depressants, such as Prozac. [more]


Shyness - Many people are suffering unnecessarily because they are too shy or embarrassed to talk about their medical problems with their GP, according to a report. [more]


Psychopathy - Psychopathy is characterized by diagnostic features such as superficial charm, high intelligence, poor judgment and failure to learn from experience, pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love, lack of remorse or shame, impulsivity, grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, manipulative behavior, poor self-control, promiscuous sexual behavior, juvenile delinquency, and criminal versatility among others. [more] The latest issue of Psychiatric Times.


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History of science - Scientists have rediscovered the details of what may be the world's first ecological experiment. The research influenced Charles Darwin while he was putting together his theories of natural selection. [more]


Genomics - Controversial genomics entrepreneur Craig Venter, famed for commercializing the human genome sequence, has stepped down as president of the biotechnology company Celera. The move may be symptomatic of an industry-wide shift in focus from gathering genome information to developing drugs. [more]


Editor's choice Altruism - Human beings are elaborately, ineluctably social creatures, scientists say, and are more willing than any other species to work for the common good to cooperate with nonkin and to help out strangers, sometimes at great cost to oneself, as the death of hundreds of rescue workers at the World Trade Center only too sadly showed. [more]


Stress - The idea that lowering stress can improve outcomes for heart patients is not new. But the Duke study, which followed heart patients for five years, is believed to be the first to measure the benefits of stress management over a sustained period and to demonstrate its potential economic benefits. [more]


Neuroscience - Neuropsychiatrist, expert witness, professor at George Washington University Medical Center and card-carrying magician, Richard Restak is the author of more than a dozen books, including the just-published "Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential," and the companion book to the five-part TV series "The Secret Life of the Brain," which begins tonight on PBS. [more]
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Primatology - Female baboons' cries during sex are longer and livelier when their partner is a higher-ranking male, researchers have discovered. New Scientist.


Schizophrenia - Japan's psychiatric society decided Saturday to change the Japanese name of schizophrenia to help dispel prejudice against people with the disorder, sources close to the society said. Japan Times.


Dyslexia - Millions of dyslexic children could benefit from a new treatment that relies on exercises similar to those developed for astronauts by NASA, it was announced yesterday. The Independent, Ananova.


Susan Greenfield - What brain science will do to all our futures From a lecture given at the University of Kent by the professor of pharmacology at Oxford University. [more]


Promiscuity - The notion of the coy female and ardent male - the woman being fussy over her choice of mate, the man being indiscriminate and promiscuous - is now entrenched in Western thought... But now researchers are questioning the notion. [more]


Neuroscience - The brains of traumatised children are scarred by their experiences, but new research shows the damage is reversible. [more]


Rosalind Franklin - The DNA heroine to be honoured at last. The Franklin medal aims to inspire new generation of women scientists. [more]

Eating disorders - Body dissatisfaction is considered to be a major risk factor for bulimia nervosa. How is it related to cultural factors? This question is addressed in a cross-cultural study performed in 12 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. [more]



Seasonal Affective Disorder - A Yale School of Medicine and Veteran's Affairs Administration study finding that patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) have lower nighttime levels of bilirubin, a bile pigment found in the blood and known by ancient Greek physicians as a "humor," lends support to the humoral theories of mood they espoused. [more]


Ecology - Scientists examining the work that influenced Charles Darwin have rediscovered the details of what may be the world's first ecological experiment. [more] [more] and [more]


Neuroscience - Brain researchers in Amsterdam have observed a double control system in the hippocampus. This double control system contributes to the memory and ensures that the brain does not 'crash', as is the case during an epileptic seizure. [more]


Editor's choice Evolutionary psychology - A concern with one's reputation can help counter humanity's inherently selfish instincts, according to research published in the latest issue of the journal Nature. Yahoo News, Nature.


SUBSCRIBE to our weekly newsletter here. You are welcome to join our discussions on evolution and human behaviour or mental health research.


Archaeology - One of the really big challenges in anthropology is to date accurately the arrival of humans in the different continents. New results, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science, show that humans arrived in Australia a lot earlier than was previously thought. [more]


Editor's choice Genetics - Data withholding occurs in academic genetics and it affects essential scientific activities such as the ability to confirm published results. [more]


Mutation rate - Our results suggest that the average mammalian genome mutation rate is 2.2 10-9 per base pair per year, which provides further opportunities for estimating species and population divergence times by using molecular clocks. [more]


Psychology - Transferring personality traits from one individual to another or from an individual to an inanimate object is an automatic brain function that can lead to absurd and often amusing associations. [more]


Cognitive neuroscience - In a pair of pioneering studies, a French and American team of social-cognitive neuroscientists have identified a network of brain regions that are involved in human imitation and specific brain areas that enable a person to distinguish the self from others. [more]


Language - To date, unlike us, computers have struggled to differentiate a page of Jane Austen from one by Jackie Collins. Now researchers in Italy have developed a program that can spot enough subtle differences between two authors' works to attribute authorship. [more] and [more]


Bipolar disorder - Migraine is more common in patients with bipolar II disorder than in those with bipolar I disorder or unipolar depression, a Norwegian psychiatrist has found. [more]


Editor's choice Evolutionary psychology - Women are designed to sniff out men with body odour similar to their fathers. Researchers believe the discovery is an example of the way nature ensures the right individuals mate through subtle smell signals. Nature Science Update, Nature Genetics, Ananova, The Independent, ABC News Australia, BBC News Online, New York Times, New Scientist.


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Addiction - Monkeys at the bottom of the social dominance hierarchy are more prone to cocaine addiction, say researchers. But they caution against making direct comparisons with humans. New Scientist,  Ananova.



Sex differences - It's not necessarily about who is better at what, but why the sexes process some stimuli in dissimilar ways. [more]



Editor's choice Neuropsychology - "Implicit" learning may be supported by a separate, earlier-evolving brain mechanism than the "explicit" type. These findings, which are reported in the January issue of Neuropsychology, may aid the effort to remediate the cognitive abilities of CHI survivors, who often are impaired during young adulthood. [more]


Neuroscience - Researchers hope that their work on transgenic mouse models will provide important insights into the role of cell death in human neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. [more]


Addiction - Researchers say glutamate is more essential to addiction than dopamine. [more]

Editor's choice Evolution - From the classic work of Darwin to developments in such fields as psychology and economics, evolutionary biology is an increasingly powerful tool for understanding the natural world. Here in two volumes is a comprehensive, accessible, and authoritative guide to what we know about evolutionary biology, from "The Origins of Species" to "The Selfish Gene" and beyond. [more]
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Psychotherapy - Daphne Merkin reviews The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self by Alice Miller. [more] [first chapter]

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Homosexuality - Paul Bailey reviews Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality by Jonathan Ned Katz. [more]
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Autobiography - For his first book, Matthew Chapman hatched a ticklish little plan: As Charles Darwin's great-great-grandson, Chapman would go to Dayton, Tenn., site of the famed 1925 Scopes trial that pitted his ancestor's theory of evolution against the deep-fried dogma of creationism. [more]

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Feral children - Tanya Luhrmann reviews Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children by Michel Newton. [more]

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Biography - David J. Galton reviews A Life of Sir Francis Galton: From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics by Nicholas Wright Gillham. [more]

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Editor's choice Evolution - Paul R. Gross reviews Dawkins vs. Gould: Survival of the Fittest by Kim Sterelny. [more]

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Biography -  A. Mark Clarfield reviews The Man Who Found the Missing Link: Eugene Dubois and His Lifelong Quest to Prove Darwin Right by Pat Shipman. [more]

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Radio - We humans are such complex beasts. Why is it that we can be so wonderful and yet so awful, eccentric and prosaic, enigmatic and obvious, witty and dull, and all of these at once? All in the Mind, presented by Natasha Mitchell, is Radio National's weekly foray into all things mental - a new program about the mind, brain and behaviour. [more]


Mental health - James Sage reviews The Age of Insanity: Modernity and Mental Health by John F. Schumaker. [more]
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Genetics - Gordon Fisher reviews Are We Hardwired? The Role of Genes in Human Behavior by William R. Clark and Michael Grunstein. [more]

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Schizophrenia - Matt Lee reviews Angelhead: A Memoir by Greg Bottoms. [more]

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Philosophy - Mark Edmundson reviews Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. [more]
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Ethics - Irene Harvey reviews Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious by John Hanwell Riker. [more]
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Psychotherapy - Joshua Wolf Shenk reviews The Thief of Happiness: The Story of an Extraordinary Psychotherapy by Bonnie Freidman. [more]

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Mental Illness - Courtney Young reviews The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness by David A. Karp. [more]

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Discourse and Truth - Jennifer Matey reviews Fearless Speech by Michel Foucault. [more]
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