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News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 52 - 30th March, 2002

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Language - Can the language you use--English, Spanish, Mandarin, etc.--indicate the way you think, or help shape those thoughts? [more]

Editor's choice Browse through our Review of the Year and read the latest controversial and thought-provoking articles and reviews in the Human Nature Review.

Editor's choice Creationism - If creationism is on the rise in the UK, blame the academic left as much as the religious right. [more]

Sexual behaviour - The consensus of the mass media seems to be that, with apparent decreasing sexual activity, a new teenage conservatism is emerging. Sophisticated academic studies are substantiating these assumptions. But, is the sexual revolution really over? Are teens returning to conservative sexual values? Are we witnessing the end of sexual liberalism and a new trend toward virginity before marriage? [more]

Suicide - High levels of a particular chemical receptor in the brain may be related to the risk of teenage suicide, findings from a small study suggest. [more] [suicide facts]

Personality - External factors such as upbringing and life experiences can do little to alter the sort of adults we become, a Toronto conference on emotions and the brain heard yesterday. [more]

Pheromones - When it comes to sexual attraction, new research provides evidence that the nose knows. [more]

Psychopharmacology - Prozac and related antidepressants could in theory pose a cancer threat by blocking the body's innate ability to kill tumor cells, British scientists said on Tuesday. But Professor John Gordon of the University of Birmingham, who led the research, said patients should keep taking their drugs since there was no evidence of any link in practice. [more]

Human evolution - An Australian study claims mankind couldn't have conquered the globe without the dog. [more]

Violence - A growing body of evidence, in particular, from studies that use modern scanning technologies to look inside the brains of killers, now strongly suggests that damage, or at least poor functioning, of a particular part of the brain - the prefrontal cortex, which lies just behind the forehead and eyes - is often involved in violence. [more]

Economics - Following in father's footsteps pays dividends - at least for boys. Arnold Chevalier at the London School of Economics, UK, has found that men who join the dynastic career are five to eight per cent better off in their first decade of work than those who do not. [more]

Editor's choice Browse through our Review of the Year and read the latest controversial and thought-provoking articles and reviews in the Human Nature Review.

Sexual abuse - Boys who were victims of sexual abuse at a school in the UK did not seem to experience an excess of health problems, but those they did have were likely to continue for longer than a year after the abuse was stopped and the perpetrator jailed. [more]

Human evolution - Ever wonder why humans evolved into social animals with rules and regulations covering just about everything we do? Meat, most likely. [more]

Archaeology - About 77,000 years ago, in a cave overlooking the Indian Ocean, a group of early people were using bone tools for leatherwork, grinding red ocher into powder, probably for use as body decoration, and even carving geometric designs. [more]

Science - Some 300 scientists and a few philosophers descended on the Harrison/Merrill Lynch Conference Center here on March 15 for a symposium modestly titled "Science and Ultimate Reality." [more]

Primatology - Archaeologists, by definition, uncover the remnants of past human activity. With the first excavation of chimpanzee stone tools at an African site, however, the scope of their work has entered virgin terrain. [more]

Editor's choice Addiction - Mind-altering drugs may be so popular because they were once used by our ancestors to survive, two leading anthropologists have argued. BBC News Online, Addiction.

Sociology - Skyrocketing violent crime rates obsessed Americans for decades. Over the past ten years, however, crime rates have been dropping. What has happened, and what can we learn? [more]

Editor's choice Violence - Watching more than one hour of television per day may make adolescents more prone to violence in adulthood, according to new research. The study, appearing in the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is believed to be the first to investigate the long-term effects of television viewing on aggressive behavior. EurekAlert, Science and Religion News Service, Ananova, BBC News Online, Nature Science Update.

Cognitive neuroscience - Different parts of the brain handle fantasy and reality. [more]

Editor's choice Late-onset schizophrenia - Paraphrenia is a condition, affecting primarily women, in which the cellular skeleton of brain cells involved in social perspective and emotion is weakened. This happens when a key structural protein called tau falls out of solution, said Dr. Manuel F. Casanova, neurologist and neuropathologist at the Medical College of Georgia and lead author on the research published in the March issue of the journal Acta Neuropathologica. [more]

Stress - In the early aftermath of September 11, the rate of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among New Yorkers was about twice the usual US rate, according to study results released Wednesday. [more]

Depression - Genes linked to depression differ between men and women, according to the first systematic search for chromosomal regions linked to severe depression. [more] and [more] A new report, focusing on depression in women was released on March 15 by the American Psychological Association. [more]

Editor's choice Anxiety - The roots of anxiety disorders may reach back to infancy, say US scientists. They have found that mice that lack certain receptors in the first days of their lives are unusually anxious in adulthood - even if the receptors are later restored. New Scientist, Yahoo, Reuters, Press Release, BBC News Online, Nature.

Archaeology - Handprints and footprints 20,000 years old reveal that people lived on the Tibetan plateau at the height of the Ice Age - 16,000 years earlier than scientists had thought. The newly found signs of life cast doubt on the idea that a glacier a kilometre thick covered the plateau at that time. Nature Science Update, Geophysical Research Letters.

Sleep sex - In a new study, Stanford researchers describe a treatable medical condition which causes people to commit violent sexual acts in their sleep. [more]

Memory - Researchers have found that they can enhance memory in fruit flies by boosting the level of a protein called PKM. The scientists could trigger memory enhancement in the flies by using either a fly or a mouse version of PKM. The study, published in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience, provides an important new clue about a fundamental mechanism of memory common to flies, humans, and most other animals. [more]

Archaeology - Wild meats gnawed by ancient hunters contain healthier fats than modern farmed cattle. This finding backs the idea that a palaeolithic diet is the key to good health. Nature Science Update, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Suicide - Almost one in six UK adults have contemplated suicide at some point in their lives, according to a survey. As many as 4% had considered taking their own life in the past year. [more]

Animal behaviour - kinship - Kissing cousin or close kin? One sniff is all some animals need to tell difference, Cornell behavior researcher discovers. [more]

Immunology - Scientists have found that a group of white blood cells demonstrates previously unrecognized "memory" characteristics that enable them to launch a sustained immune response against tuberculosis bacteria. [more]

Editor's choice Human evolution - C. Loring Brace reviews The Riddled Chain: Chance, Coincidence and Chaos in Human Evolution by Jeffrey K. McKee. [more]

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Scientism - Mark Welch reviews Naturalism and the Human Condition: Against Scientism by Frederick A. Olafson. [more]
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Testosterone - Heather C. Liston reviews Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior by James McBride Dabbs. [more]
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Mania - Christian Perring reviews Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania by Andy Behrman. [more]

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Unconscious - Peter B. Raabe reviews Hidden Minds: A History of the Unconscious By Frank Tallis. [more]

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Madness - Christian Perring reviews Madness: A Brief History by Roy Porter. [more]

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Mind - Marcel Scheele reviews Mind and Mechanism by Drew V. McDermott. [more]

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Psychopharmacology - David Canter reviews The Creation of Psychopharmacology by David Healy. [more]

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Evolution - Michael Ruse reviews The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould. [more]

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Psychology - Edward Skidelsky reviews The Cradle of Thought: Exploring the Origins of Thinking by Peter Hobson. [more]

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Editor's choice Grief - Eduardo Keegan reviews The Nature of Grief by John Archer. [more]

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