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News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 72 - 12th October, 2002 - http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

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Bipolar disorder (11 Oct) - Bipolar disorder--once known as manic depression--seems to be on the rise in children and teens, but doctors aren't sure why. In this hour, we'll talk about bipolar disorder in children: why it's so difficult to diagnose and what treatments work. [more] [audio]

Sociology (11 Oct) - "Forget marital breakdown, high rates of divorce, and the number of children born outside of marriage. Endless discussions about the 'crisis' facing the family distract attention from trends that are likely to have a far greater impact on how we live. The truth is that adults are not only finding it difficult to sustain marriage, but just about all forms of intimate relationships," writes Frank Furedi. [more]

Psychology - economics (10 Oct) - Two Americans have won this year's Nobel award in economics for trying to explain idiosyncrasies in people's ways of making decisions, research that has helped incorporate insights from psychology into the discipline of economics. [more]

Sexual behavior (10 Oct)  - Men who want to become fathers adjust their testosterone levels to make conception more likely, according to new research. [more]

Mental health - politics (10 Oct) - Amnesty International is concerned about the grave lack of respect for basic human rights of people with mental health disorders or developmental disabilities in Bulgaria. [more]

Human evolution (10 Oct) - A genetic technique that could allow scientists to probe the evolution of our ancestors during the critical transformation from hunter-gatherers to farmers has passed its first test. [more]

Self-esteem (9 Oct) - Though there may be great advantages for precocious preschoolers who have a high level of mental, social and emotional understanding, there may be disadvantages as well, new study findings suggest. These youngsters may be more sensitive to criticism. [more]

Healing - Do the arts have the power to heal? Carte Blanche talks to Nancy Diuguid who, in her own battle with breast cancer, found a purpose in life by using the creative arts to help others heal. [more]

Profile (9 Oct) - John Sulston scraped a 2:1, fell into research by accident and ended up with a yard of bench space in a Cambridge lab. This week he won a Nobel prize. Andrew Brown on the self-effacing British scientist who became obsessed with a hermaphrodite worm - and unlocked the secrets of life itself. The Guardian, BBC News Online, The Guardian, Nature Science Update.

Antidepressants (8 Oct) - A controversial abortion pill may have a use as an anti-depressant, say researchers in the United States and France. [more]

Emotion (8 Oct) - Joseph LeDoux is a star of high wattage. Through his research and writings, he has been a major force in changing approaches to human brain research. Previously, brain studies tended to bypass phenomena that are difficult to measure, like emotions and the unconscious. Dr  LeDoux, in his laboratory, began finding ways to study how the brain processes emotions. [more]

Eating disorders (7 Oct) - Researchers find growing number of college-age men becoming obsessed with exercise, body image and size. [more]

Artists and criminals (6 Oct) - What makes one person choose painting and another robbery? A controversial theory suggests that artists and criminals have a lot in common: they both break the rules. [more]

Primatology (2 Oct) - If a public meeting in London, backed by the British Academy and the Royal Society, agrees that chimpanzees are part of the cultural domain it may trigger a rethink of mankind's evolution, putting more emphasis on society and less on genes. [more]

Language (4 Oct) - According to Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, language as we know it today may be a relatively new evolutionary wrinkle. [more]


Palaeoanthropology (10 Oct) - When the 6-7-million-year-old fossil was unveiled earlier this year, its face glowered from cover pages worldwide. Toumaï was proclaimed as the oldest fossil from a member of the human family - a desperately sought lead into the murky dawn of human evolution. But Milford Wolpoff and his colleagues dispute the claim that Toumaï is human-like, or hominid. They argue that the skull's features are more like those of an ancestral gorilla. Nature Science Update, Nature, Nature, The Guardian, BBC News Online, National Geographic, Associated Press, CNN, Reuters, ABC News.

  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

Neuroscience (9 Oct) - A new study at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston helps explain why practice makes perfect. Baylor researchers found that neurons in the visual cortex, the part of the brain responsible for vision, were more active when study monkeys anticipated the occurrence of predictable events. [more]

Marek Kohn

Politics - "inequality kills" (10 Oct) - In 'Unity is Health' Marek Kohn argues that ideas flowering from heterogeneous ideological stocks suggest the possibility of a Darwinian left which could take a sober view of the role of self-interest in human affairs, and use it as the platform for an array of radical ideas and policies. The common theme in them would be the drawing together of society, by reducing disparities of wealth and enriching the fabric of community, for the common good. A Darwinian left would take heart from its new perspectives, which suggest that the left's instincts about solidarity and equality were right after all. [more]

Feature Article

ADHD (8 Oct) - A 10-year study by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) scientists has found that brains of children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are 3-4 percent smaller than those of children who don't have the disorder - and that medication treatment is not the cause. EurekAlert, BBC News Online.

Jealousy (8 Oct) - Jealousy, according to evolutionary psychologists, evolved a million or so years ago on the African plain, where life was no picnic. [more] and [more]

Anthropology - race (8 Oct) - Two physical anthropologists have reanalyzed data gathered by Franz Boas, a founder of American anthropology, and report that he erred in saying environment influenced human head shape. Boas's data, the two scientists say, show almost no such effect. [more] and [more]

"Old boy network" (6 Oct) - Cliques of well-connected businessmen can easily corrupt or distort corporate board decisions, but now a team of scientists say they can assess how much power old-boy networks have over boardroom meetings. "A well-connected lobby of a minority of directors can drive the decision of the board," say Stefano Battiston of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and co-workers. But they think that it is possible to predict the chances that a board will agree with the opinion of such a lobby. [more] and [more]

Unemployment and depression (6 Oct) - Job loss and its related financial strain put people at elevated risk for emotional and physical problems, according to researchers studying the consequences of being unemployed. [more]

ADHD - (6 Oct) - Does soy-based infant formula lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? [more]


Psychology - culture - Science Friday discusses The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature with Steven Pinker. [more] [audio]

Genetics - Fred Kavalier reviews Y: The Descent of Men by Steve Jones. [more]

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Human biology - Michael Mills reviews Digit Ratio: A Pointer to Fertility, Behavior and Health by John T. Manning. [more Fingers - Claudia Hammond examines our fingers - five often overlooked clues to our genetic inheritance, our cultural provenance and our psychological state. BBC Radio Four, Audio: The Thumb, The Forefinger, The Middle Finger, The Ring Finger, The Little Finger.

Therapy - Roy Sugarman reviews The Churkendoose Anthology: True Stories of Triumph Over Neurological Dysfunction edited by Lisa Brenner. [more]

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Psychiatry - Christian Perring reviews Psychiatric Diagnosis and Classification edited by Mario Maj, Wolfgang Gaebel, Juan Jose Lopez-Ibor and Norman Sartorius. [more]

Biology - sexual behaviour - Tony Dickinson reviews Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson. [more]

Biology and culture - Ronald Bailey and Nick Gillespie talk to Steven Pinker about The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. [more] A review by Alyson Walls. [more] A review by Fred Bortz. [more] A review by John Morrish. [more]

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History - biology - Gargi Talukder reviews Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox. [more]

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