| Human Nature Review | What's New | Search | Archive | Guestbook | Feedback | Contact Us |

News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 67 - 8th September, 2002 - http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter send a blank email here.
To subscribe send a blank email here.

NEWS & VIEWS

Cradling (7 Sep) - Psychologists have come up with an explanation for why most mothers instinctively cradle their babies in their left arms. [more]


Emotions - Why have we evolved to have emotions? BBC Radio Four, Audio: Fear, Anger, Guilt and Shame, Sadness, Jealousy and Envy.


Urban legends (3 Sep) - As the anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, terror-related urban legends are running rampant. Luckily, Snopes.com is on the case. [more]


Darwinism (23 Sep) - Why the reductionists are winning the Darwin wars. [more]


Human communication (6 Sep) - Human communication across the globe began with the same primitive metaphors, logic associations and rules, all of which emerged from three main concerns: food, sex and territory, according to an Italian scholar who claims to have deciphered 30,000-year-old rock drawings. [more]



"Potential criminals" (6 Sep) - Police in Wilmington, Del., are fighting crime with a private database of digital photographs that include pictures of some people who have not been charged with a crime. While the system has won praise for reducing crime, critics predict it will be struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. [more]


Archaeology (5 Sep) - The 7,700-year-old remains of a woman, nicknamed the Lady of Trent, reveal that she ate nearly as much meat as a wolf, according to a press release from the Archaeological Consultancy of the University of Sheffield in England. [more]


Psychiatry (6 Sep) - All the latest news from the American Psychiatric Association Psychiatric News 6 September 2002; Vol. 37, No. 17. [more]


Schizophrenia - Dr Raj Persaud chairs a special debate on schizophrenia from the Institute of Psychiatry in South London, where listeners, service users and mental health organistions can put questions to a panel of experts. [more] [audio]


Artificial Intelligence (6 Sep) - SmarterChild, a computer program, is part of a new species of "chatterbots" that are renewing debate  about the extent to which computers can achieve intelligence. [more]


Consciousness (5 Sep) - A Surrey scientist claims to have an answer to what is often considered to be the hardest problem in science (sometimes just known as the "Hard Problem"): why we are aware. [more]


Science and religion (5 Sep) - Dozens of scientists were among the 245 participants at the recent annual conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, where attendees grappled with the question: "Is Nature Enough? The Thirst for Transcendence." [more]


Conservation (4 Sep) - The rapid destruction of the world's rain forests could force at least 13 ape species to go extinct within 30 years, a U.N. Environment Program study found. [more]


Human evolution - politics (1 Sep) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on a mission to help save humanity from itself at the Earth Summit, explored mankind's pre-historic roots at a cave site regarded as a cradle of the human race. [more]


Psychiatry - "In the last third of the 20th century, psychiatry boldly shook off a 120-year-long philosophical funk and rushed to catch up in the thrilling march of medicine," according to Jeff Victoroff, M.D. [more]


Obituary (2 Sep) - Dr. Sanford L. Palay, a neuroscientist who helped uncover the detailed anatomy of the nerve cell and obtained the first images of the synapse and the structures that release messenger chemicals in the brain, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Concord, Mass. He was 83. [more]


Humanistic psychology (1 Sep) - In 2000, humanistic psychologists convened a historic conference that re-energized the field while revealing that the effects of managed care, psychopharmacology and other trends are resulting in many humanists branching into exciting new practice arenas. [more]


Gambling (1 Sep) - A new study on gambling helps explain why we make commitments we later regret. [more]


Behavioral genetics (1 Sep) - Identifying genes that explain our personalities could eliminate the distinction psychologists make between personality and psychopathology. [more] The American Psychological Association has formed a working group on genetics research issues. [more]


Evolutionary algorithms (28 Aug) - A self-organizing electronic circuit has stunned engineers by turning itself into a radio receiver. [more]


Archaeology - politics (30 Aug) - A federal judge on Friday ordered the U.S. government to let scientists study the bones of Kennewick Man, an ancient skeleton discovered in 1996 on the banks of the Columbia River. Nandotimes, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Tri-City Herald, National Park Service.


Risky behaviour (30 Aug) - Teenagers are more likely to engage in underage sex if their parents smoke, drink or don't wear seatbelts in cars, a study suggests. [more]


Unconscious (30 Aug) - The non-Freudian unconscious being excavated by scientists processes data, sets goals, judges people, detects danger, formulates stereotypes and infers causes, all outside our conscious awareness. [more]


Economics (29 Aug) - Economists think of themselves as scientists; their primary goal is to understand how the economy works. But scientific knowledge is not their only goal; as a famous economist once remarked, "The point is not to understand the world, but to change it." [more]


Sperm 'memory' (28 Aug) - If human sperm turn in one direction, they will turn in the opposite direction at the next opportunity, Peter Brugger, a neurobiologist at University Hospital, Zurich, has found. [more]


Sex offenders (27 Aug) - Scientists who study the minds of child molesters and rapists are getting closer to unraveling the biological, genetic and social forces that lead to such acts. Identifying similar personality features and shared behavioral conditions could ultimately lead to new and better treatments. [more]


Psychotherapy (27 Aug) - Insight is a prerequisite of happiness, the theory goes, and well-being achieved without the hard work of psychotherapy is artificial and inauthentic. [more]


Obituary (27 Aug) - Professor Mary Pickford, who has died on her 100th birthday, was a pioneer of neuro-endocrinology. She was also the first woman to be elected to the Pharmacological Society and the first to be appointed to a professorship in the faculty of medicine at Edinburgh University. [more]


Depression (25 Aug) - Painless magnetic waves pulsed across the brain appear to relieve depression as well as the more traumatic and standard electro-convulsive shock therapy, researchers said at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. [more]


Psychiatry - There is no question that psychotherapy and psychopharmacology can be successfully integrated. Indeed, there are still many psychiatrists left in this country who talk to patients and families, provide both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, and care for patients in a biopsychosocial context. [more]

PAPERS & COMMENTARY

Development (6 Sep) - Eleven-year-olds who were born weighing less than normal are more likely to have psychiatric and behavioral disorders--attention problems in particular--than their normal birth weight peers, according to a team of Norwegian researchers. [more]


  BBC News 24, BBC Newsnight Today, Newshour, The World Today, BBC World Service, 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.

 Audio and Video

Mental illness and violence (6 Sep) - The contribution of mental illness to societal violence is modest, despite increasing public concern about the potential for violence among mentally ill patients who have been treated and reside in the community. British Medical Journal.


Seti - Altruism - Encoding Altruism: The Art and Science of Interstellar Message Composition. [more]


Neuroscience (5 Sep) - At least a third of the communicating cells in a front part of the brain critical for reasoning and planning seem adept at keeping track of the number of things seen, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. What's more, they even pick favorite quantities. [more]


Human evolution (4 Sep) - A skeleton of a newborn Neanderthal, lost for almost 90 years, has turned up in a museum in France. The beautifully preserved fossil could lead to new insights into the evolution of human development and the relationship between modern humans and our long-extinct cousins. Nature Science Update, Nature, New Scientist, BBC News Online, Nando Times


Pheromones (4 Sep) - Pheromones - chemical signals that influence social and reproductive behaviors - have been studied since the 1950s, but the molecules in the mammalian nervous system that actually detect pheromones have remained elusive. Now, a team of researchers, led by The Rockefeller University's Peter Mombaerts, M.D., Ph.D., provides the first functional evidence for molecular receptors for pheromones in mammals. [more]


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (4 Sep) - Scientists have uncovered a gene which they believe may play a role in causing obsessive-compulsive disorder. BBC News Online, EurekAlert.


Ethics (3 Sep) - A new study suggests that nearly any worker may be willing to steal from an employer under some circumstances -- unless the company makes clear that theft is unethical. [more]


Smoking (3 Sep) - Giving smokers medication to mimic an increase in their brain's level of a substance called dopamine could help squelch their desire for cigarettes, according to a new study. [more]



Aggression - "To understand the neurobiological basis of aggression, an understanding of both the cortical inhibitory mechanisms and the more primitive limbic systems involved in the generation and modulation of aggression is required," says Larry J. Siever, M.D. [more]


Attention (31 Aug) - If you want someone's attention, show them the money and you're more likely to get results, at least when it comes to their body's responses, a new study suggests. [more]


Stress (31 Aug) - Believing that you have control over a moderately stressful situation may make it less potentially damaging to your heart and circulatory system, a new study suggests. [more]


Mental illness - violence (30 Aug) - People with severe mental illnesses are highly unlikely to become violent toward others unless they have additional risk factors combined with their psychiatric disorder, according to a new study led by researchers at Duke University Medical Center. [more]


Sexual behaviour (30 Aug) - Researchers have located the spinal-cord neurons that control ejaculation. The finding opens new avenues for treating premature ejaculation and problems with sexual function in paraplegic men. [more]


Eating disorders (30 Aug) - For a subset of women -- those with eating disorders -- exercise may have no feel-good effects. In fact, it may induce just the opposite feeling. And women in general may get less psychological benefit from exercising than men. [more]


Schizophrenia (29 Aug) - New findings confirm previous reports of a higher risk for schizophrenia associated with advanced paternal age. [more]


Development (29 Aug) - That babbling coming from the crib is the sound of an infant learning the techniques of speech, a vocalization of signals from the language learning centers of the brain, a study says. ABC News, BBC News Online, Scientific American, Press release, Video, The Guardian.


Memory (29 Aug) - Scientists have found a molecule that may be to blame for loss of memory as we get older. It raises the tempting prospect of new therapies to restore memory. The enzyme helps the brain delete unwanted information. BBC News Online.


Invaluable free toolbar for scientists, clinicians, and philosophers - Increase your productivity and efficiency by searching multiple resources directly from your Internet Explorer toolbar including PubMed, Scirus, Encarta, Drugs.com, Life Sciences Dictionary, Medical Dictionary and many others. Download your toolbar from our homepage now and customize it here.
Free Toolbar

Immunology (28 Aug) - Exposure to at least two dogs or cats in the first year of life may drastically reduce the risk of allergies, including reactions to molds, grasses and pollen, scientists report in an unusual line of research published today. [more]


Memory (28 Aug) - A molecular "eraser" has been found in the brain, scientists report today, suggesting that without it our memory tracks would function about as well as a computer without a delete key. [more]


Neuroscience (19 Aug) - New findings suggest a possible dissociation between self-recognition and more generalized face processing within the human brain. [more]


Human evolution (26 Aug) - A gene that separates humans from the apes and all other animals seems to have disappeared from humans up to three million years ago, just before they first stood upright, researchers said on Monday. ABC News, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Swiss Info, Discovery.


Body image (26 Aug) -  Research has for years linked women's exposure to photos of skinny supermodels with feelings of inadequacy about their own bodies. Now, a new study suggests that men are driven to the same insecurities when faced with magazine portrayals of buff, muscled hunks. [more]


Physics (22 Aug) - A new finding may shed light on natural clustering processes including the assembly of quarks and other minuscule components into atoms, the folding of proteins and the clumping of stars in galaxies scientists say. [more]

REVIEWS & DISCUSSION

Life - Paul R. Gross reviews The Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview by Iris Fry. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Belief - Kalman Glantz reviews Pathologies Of Belief edited by Max Coltheart & Martin Davies. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Unhappiness - Christopher Dowrick reviews The Nature of Unhappiness by David Smail. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Animal rights - Kurt Kleiner reviews Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights by Steven M. Wise. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Biology - Laurence Marschall reviews Of Moths and Men: The Untold Story of Science and the Peppered Moth by Judith Hooper. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Psychology - Simon Blackburn reviews The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. [more] [excerpt] [excerpt] A review by Mark Ridley. [more] A review by A. C. Grayling. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Human evolution - Derek Bickerton reviews The Dawn of Human Culture by Richard G. Klein with Blake Edgar. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Genetic engineering - Diane B. Paul reviews Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future by Gregory Stock. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Human evolution - Dario Maestripieri reviews From Hand to Mouth: The Origins of Language by Michael C. Corballis. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Science - David L. Hull reviews Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines by Evelyn Fox Keller. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Genetic engineering - Dan W. Brock reviews Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Intelligence - Ann Finkbeiner reviews The Genius Within: Discovering the Intelligence of Every Living Thing by Frank T. Vertosick. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Consciousness - Sean A. Spence reviews Consciousness by Rita Carter. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Sexual behaviour - Men aren't the only ones with cheating hearts, and scientists do not believe that there is any such thing as a battle of the sexes either, according to a new book that takes a scientific look at sex. In her new book, Sex: A Natural History, science reporter Joann Rodgers debunks some previous sexual theories, as she explores the biology and psychology of what drives our sexual behavior, from why we find Hollywood star Brad Pitt attractive, to why we sometimes cheat on our mates. [more]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada


Automata - Miranda Seymour reviews Edison's Eve by Gaby Wood. [more] [first chapter]

Buy this book from Amazon
Amazon United States of America  Amazon United Kingdom  Amazon France  Amazon Deutschland  Amazon Japan  Amazon Canada