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News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 78 - 23rd November, 2002 - http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

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NEWS & VIEWS

Craig Venter (23 Nov) - The scientific achievements of Craig Venter - known as Darth Venter to his detractors - have often been obscured by his abrasive personality and his aggressive promotion of his commercial interests. [more]


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Cybertherapy (23 Nov) - Patients can now get advice on alcoholism, gambling and food disorders over the internet. Chartered psychologists Sue Wright and Nadine Field, from Buckinghamshire, have set up PsychologyOnline Ltd, a web-based service designed to give patients consultations, assessment and therapy through the internet. [more]


Development (22 Nov) - Boy fetuses are more likely to extend their stay in the womb beyond their due date than girls, a new report suggests. But the reasons for the difference are unclear, the team of US and Swedish researchers concludes. [more]


Social phobia (20 Nov) - New brain-imaging research suggests that a heightened brain response to hostile facial expressions may be at work in people with social phobia. [more]


Human evolution (20 Nov) - Neanderthals and early humans knew how to make spears but they didn't know how to throw them. Instead, they had a limited hunting strategy, and used their spears merely to stab animals they had already trapped or ambushed. [more]


Race - White-black dating, marriage, and adoption are on the rise in the US. This development, however, is being met with resistance-more vocally by blacks than by whites. [more]


Human evolution (20 Nov) - Low fertility and frequent pregnancy complications may be the price that we have paid for evolving a large brain. [more]


Psychotherapy (20 Nov) - The number of Americans who received psychotherapy increased slightly from 1987 to 1997, according to a large national study, and rose significantly for two groups: older adults and the unemployed. [more]



Neuroscience (19 Nov) - The amygdala is most definitely not required for social interactions among humans and non-human primates, claims a leading neuroscientist. On the contrary, argues David Amaral of the University of California in Davis, damaging the amygdala has the same effect as a few too many drinks at a cocktail party - it makes monkeys socially uninhibited. [more]


Suicide (19 Nov) - Whether a calculated ultimate protest or a depression-blinded act, suicide is what it is, a desperately arrived at dead end. For the person tormented by the obsession, it may mean numerous attempts, psychiatric wards and mood-altering drugs. For the victim's loved ones, it is a source of confusion and questions of lingering grief, guilt, shame and anger. [more]


Darwin (18 Nov) - Is Charles Darwin the Greatest Briton? [more] [video]


Body image (19 Nov) - A recent visit to the Brooklyn Museum of Art's stunning exhibit "Exposed: The Victorian Nude" left this viewer with the distinct impression that current representations of the "ideal" female figure bear little resemblance to what nature intended our bodies to look like. [more]


Naturalists (19 Nov) - There may be fewer songbirds and swamps, fewer forests and meadows. But naturalists are everywhere, at parks small and large, at nature centers, leading bird walks and teaching children about the habits of squirrels and frogs. [more]


Nature and nurture (18 Nov) - The largest investigation into how 'nature' and 'nurture' intervene to trigger common diseases began this week, and will exploit the unique genetic and environmental diversity of the European twin population. [more]


Terrorist's brains (18 Nov) - The brains of Germany's most notorious far-left urban guerrillas were taken away to be examined by scientists, secretly preserved in formaldehyde for a quarter of a century - and have now mostly vanished without trace. [more]


Psychology of success - Enticing clues indicate that telltale bits of psychology may spur people to start businesses and even help determine who succeeds and who fails. [more]


REVIEWS & DISCUSSION (cont.)

Psychotherapy - Eduardo Keegan reviews Comprehensive Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy by Myrna M. Weissman, John C. Markowitz, and Gerald L. Klerman. [more] [review]

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Science - Saty Satya-Murti reviews From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twentieth Century by F. David Peat. [more] [review]

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Homosexuality - William C. Summers reviews Departing From Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America by Henry L. Minton. [more] [review]

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Medicine - ethics - Hannah S. Decker reviews Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices, Legacies edited by Francis R. Nicosia and Jonathan Huener. [more] [review]

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PMDD - Ignoring Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a health hazard that can be physically and emotionally devastating to millions of women, says Diana Dell. [more] [review]

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PAPERS & COMMENTARY

Eye contact (20 Nov) - Noting that the eyes have long been described as mirrors of the soul, a Queen's computer scientist is studying the effect of eye gaze on conversation and the implications for new-age technologies, ranging from video conferencing to speech recognition systems. [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

Schizophrenia (21 Nov) - Scientists have discovered that infants possessing a cell protein called Rhesus (Rh) factor that their mothers lack are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia in young adulthood. Reported in the December issue of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Human Genetics, the study suggests that the gene that codes for Rh factor is to blame for the higher risk. [more]



Neuroscience (21 Nov) - When the human brain is presented with conflicting information about an object from different senses, it finds a remarkably efficient way to sort out the discrepancies, according to new research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley. [more]


Cannabis and mental health (21 Nov) - Frequent cannabis use increases the risk of developing depression and schizophrenia in later life, according to three studies in this week's British Medical Journal. In the first study of 1,600 students from 44 secondary schools in Australia, frequent cannabis use predicted later depression and anxiety, particularly in teenage girls. EurekAlert, BBC News Online, Reuters, British Medical Journal, Editorial.


Human evolution (21 Nov) - About 15,000 years of friendship between man and dog have helped man's best friend to develop unique ways of understanding humans: abilities that still are somewhat mysterious to scientists and dog lovers, several studies released this week found. CNN, EurekAlert, New York Times, Nature Science Update, BBC News Online, New Scientist, The Guardian.


Deliberate self harm (21 Nov) - Researchers surveyed over 6,000 pupils aged 15 and 16 years from 41 schools in England. The questionnaire was anonymous and sought information about lifestyle, deliberate self harm, suicidal thoughts, and self esteem. Reported acts of self harm were assessed according to specific criteria. [more]


Interferon - depression (20 Nov) - Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center researchers and their colleagues have found that many people develop major depression while taking interferon, the most effective drug against the life-threatening liver disease hepatitis C. [more]


Sex differences (19 Nov) - New discoveries on the interplay between genes and biological sex were the topic of discussions at the Third Annual Conference on Sex and Gene Expression (SAGE III), hosted by the Society for Women's Health Research. [more]


Physiology (18 Nov) - The chemical in turkey that may cause people to nod off after Thanksgiving dinner also plays a role in maintaining good mood and memory, especially among people with a family history of depression, says new research published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. [more]


Genetics (18 Nov) - Scientists have identified the first "master" molecule in the cell nucleus that controls the action of hundreds of different genes at once through its action on enzymes. The broad-acting molecule affects enzymes that restructure chromosomes, exposing genes to proteins that can then trigger key gene processes, including the start of protein production and copying and repairing of genes. [more]


Longevity (18 Nov) - The naked mole-rat may help scientists to understand longevity. Although it is just the size of a gerbil, it lives over six times as long: it can survive 26 years or more. Nature Science Update, Journal of Zoology.


Alcohol - development (18 Nov) - A new animal study hints that even a little alcohol during pregnancy may affect a baby's brain. A group of adult rats flunked a navigation test. Their mothers had consumed quantities of alcohol while pregnant that were analogous to one drink a day for a human during the first six months. Nature Science Update, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


REVIEWS & DISCUSSION (cont.)

Deception - Wendy M. Grossman reviews The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin D. Mitnick. [more] [review]

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Biography - Louise Barrett reviews Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection by Deborah Blum. [more] [review]

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Fiction - Ron Charles reviews The Cave by Josť Saramago Translated by Margaret Costa. [more] [review]

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Psychopathology - Barry Boggs reviews Measuring Psychopathology by Anne Farmer, Peter McGuffin and Julie Williams. [more] [review]

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Parenting - Roy Sugarman reviews Handbook of Parenting, 2nd Edition, Volumes 1-5 edited by Marc H. Bornstein. [review]


Biography - Marek Kohn reviews Charles Darwin: The Power of Place by Janet Browne. [more] [review]

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REVIEWS & DISCUSSION

Intuition - Markus Kemmelmeier reviews Intuition: Its Powers and Perils by David G. Myers. [more] [review]

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Memory - Nigel Hunt reviews Voices of Collective Remembering by James Wertsch. [more] [review] [chapter]

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Human evolution - Chris Lavers reviews The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells. [more] [review]

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Behavior - Helge Malmgren reviews Adaptive Dynamics: The Theoretical Analysis of Behavior  by J. E. R. Staddon. [more] [review]

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Schizophrenia - Lisa Bortolotti reviews Living With Schizophrenia by Stuart Emmons, Craig Geiser, Kalman J. Kaplan and Martin Harrow. [more] [review]

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Behavioral neuroscience - Bill Seeley reviews Neurons and Networks: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience by John E. Dowling. [more] [review]

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Biography - Christian Perring reviews Sigmund Freud: Pioneer of the Mind by Catherine Reef. [more] [review]

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Music - Steven Poole and John Dugdale review Beethoven's Anvil: Music In Mind And Culture by William L. Benzon. [more] [review]

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Chemistry - Tim Radford reviews Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World by Nick Lane [more], Hydrogen: The Essential Element by John S Rigden [more], and The Ingredients: A Guided Tour of the Elements by Philip Ball. [more] [review]


Consciousness - Galen Strawson reviews Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge. [more] [review]

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Adolescence - Iain McClure reviews Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson. [more] [review]

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Evolutionary psychology - Kate Douglas reviews Human Instinct: How Our Primeval Impulses Shape Our Modern Lives by Robert Winston. [more] [review]

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Biology - John Bonner reviews Darwin In the Genome: Molecular Strategies in Biological Evolution by Lynn Helena Caporale. [more] [review]

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