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News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 70 - 29th September, 2002 - http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

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NEWS & VIEWS

Blondes (27 Sep) - A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202. [more]



Trauma (24 Sep) - Until recently, mental health clinicians could only speculate on the ways that abuse and neglect damage a child's developing brain. But a series of ground-breaking studies in neuroscience conducted over the last decade are allowing researchers to pinpoint the actual changes in children's brains caused by traumatic experience. [more]


Abuse (26 Sep) - Men who were sexually abused as boys or as adults often experience serious psychological consequences in later life, including an increased likelihood of trying to kill or harm themselves, a UK study suggests. [more]


Development (25 Sep) - Parents are probably right to worry about the effect they're having on their children, says Oliver James. [more]


Psychology (25 Sep) - Steven Pinker talks to Tim Radford. [more]


Lying (24 Sep) - Is this man telling the truth? Your vote could help psychologists understand what makes a successful liar. [more]


Brain size (24 Sep) - Most people have around 100 billion nerve cells in their brain. But the roundworm, down at the other end of the scale of animal complexity, figures out everything it needs to know about life with exactly 302 neurons. Researchers have now gained what seems to be a major insight into how nature builds brains of such different capabilities. [more]


Suicide (23 Sep) - All in the Mind takes a look at a suicide prevention centre in Glasgow that believes it has the answer. [more] [audio]


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Darwin Centre (24 Sep) - Millions of preserved creatures from across the world - including some collected by Charles Darwin himself - are going on view at a London museum. [more] As the Darwin Centre opens, Tim Radford argues that its collection of zoological specimens offers more valuable insights into the mysteries of human existence than the contents of our finest libraries. [more]



Autism (20 Sep) - Treating autism effectively has always been a challenge, but British researchers have developed a program they say can help reach autistic children. [more]


Gould (23 Sep) - Stephen Jay Gould was a modern master of the scientific essay, the inheritor of a tradition shaped by the likes of T. H. Huxley, J. B. S. Haldane, and Martin Gardner. [more]



Faces - Can you read people's thoughts just by looking at them? [more] and [more]

PAPERS & COMMENTARY

Neuroscience (26 Sep) - The beauty of one of Japan's most popular Zen gardens has long eluded explanation. Now neuroscientists have found that its minimalist design suggests a pleasing picture to our subconscious. [more]


  BBC News 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

Conscious awareness (25 Sep) - Two new studies by faculty at Georgetown University Medical Center and colleagues shed new light on the brain mechanisms underlying conscious awareness. [more]



Language - neurology (25 Sep) - When a stroke affects the language areas in the left side of the brain, the right side takes over and learns how to perform language tasks, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. [more]


Neuroscience (25 Sep) - Big brains gave humans an evolutionary edge, but how did they grow so big? An important clue may come, ironically, from a gene that has been found to stunt the cerebral cortex in people with microcephaly. [more]


Behaviour (24 Sep) - Men are more likely to reach for chocolates when they're happy than glum, say German psychologists. [more]



Self-esteem - development (24 Sep) - The sibling getting favored treatment from mom and dad feels great and has the best self-esteem, right? Not necessarily, researchers say. If a favored sibling doesn't think the preferential treatment is deserved, that child may actually suffer. [more]


Men's health (24 Sep) - Although stressful life events may affect the health of both men and women, men are more vulnerable, according to a recent study of nearly 3,000 people in Finland. [more]


Stress (24 Sep) - A few minutes alone with a pet cat or dog might do more to help people's stress than talking about their troubles with their best friend or spouse, according to a new study. [more]


Anxiety (24 Sep) - People who cope with a life-threatening situation by ignoring their anxiety or diverting their attention away from it may be doing themselves a favor. Such practices may act as a buffer against stress disorders, according to the results of an Israeli study of heart attack patients. [more]


Human evolution (23 Sep) - Roy Britten, a biologist at the California Institute of Technology, says in a study published this week that a new way of comparing the genes shows that the genetic similarity between humans and chimps is only about 95 percent. Nando Times, New York Times, New Scientist, Nature Science Update.


ADHD (23 Sep) - A new study provides preliminary evidence for the involvement of SNAP-25 in predisposing to ADHD at least in the Irish population. Replication of these results is required to firmly implicate SNAP-25 as a predisposing factor for ADHD. [more]


PTSD (23 Sep) - Researchers have found a common mutation in the DAT gene which shows an increased frequency among trauma survivors who have developed chronic PTSD, and which adds a small significant contribution to the risk for PTSD. [more]

REVIEWS & DISCUSSION

History - Richard Milner reviews Charles Darwin: The Power of Place by Janet Browne. [more]

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Human evolution - Anthony Dickinson reviews Up From Dragons: The Evolution of Human Intelligence by John Skoyles and Dorion Sagan. [more]

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Drugs - Christine Kenneally reviews The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics by Richard Davenport-Hines. [more]

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Evolutionary computation - Peter Bentley reviews Machine Nature by Moshe Sipper. [more]

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Consciousness - Robert W. Lurz reviews Phenomenal Consciousness by Peter Carruthers. [more]

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Human evolution - While men today sometimes receive criticism from women about their communication skills, a new book reveals that a male was probably the first human to speak. According to "The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens," published last week by The British Academy, a male likely was the first to acquire a gene, called protocadherinXY, believed to play a crucial role in human capacity for language. [more]

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Human biology - Creighton W. Don reviews The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit by Melvin Konner. [more]

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Psychology - Marek Kohn reviews The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. [more] A review by Ben Schrank. [more] A review by David Hull. [more] A review by John Gray. [more] A review by Susan Greenfield. [more] A review by John Homans. [more]

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