| 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 80 - 7th December, 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

Social behaviour (6 Dec) - For some psychologists and anthropologists, human social instincts are key to Mac loyalty. Just as animal lovers anthropomorphize their pets, Macs users associate human characteristics with their machines. [more]


Sexual behavior (6 Dec) - A debate has begun among scientists about whether Pfizer Inc.'s impotence drug Viagra (sildenafil) can be linked to aggressive behavior and sexual violence. [more]


Dogs (5 Dec) - According to a number of recently released scientific studies, dogs are not merely emotional con artists: they are also intellectual con artists. They've learned not only to fake love; they've managed to convince us that they are a lot smarter than they really are. In both cases they play us for the saps we are. [more]

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


Mental health (6 Dec) - People with schizophrenia in England and Wales should be involved in all decisions on their care and should be offered psychological as well as drug treatment. These are two of the recommendations in guidelines published by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) this week. [more]


Psychiatry - All the latest news from the American Psychiatric Association, Psychiatric News 6 December 2002; Vol. 37, No. 23. [more]


Disgust - Disgusting objects fascinate. So, too, does the emotion of disgust itself. It fascinated Charles Darwin, who wrote about its origins in his 1872 book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. It fascinates Valerie Curtis, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who travels the world with a lump of artificial feces in her suitcase. [more]


Equal rights (6 Dec) - Gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in the UK are to be offered the same rights as married couples, a government minister indicated today, although she said this will not amount to "gay marriages". [more]


Profile (5 Dec) - Alison Richard is an expert on the Madagascan lemur, a species where the females dominate the males - which could be handy in her new job. Will Woodward meets the first woman vice-chancellor of Cambridge in 1,200 years. [more]


Creationism (2 Dec) - Chris Mooney looks at how anti-evolutionists are mutating their message. [more]


Gossip - Once shunned and scorned as an evil act, "the devil's mouthpiece", the status of gossip has been elevated by psychologists, who now believe that it is a natural human, social, psychological activity, essential for our very survival. [more]


Neurotheology (3 Dec) - Neuroscientist Rhawn Joseph has spent years studying history, myth and biology in his quest to understand the universality of spiritual experience and its evolutionary function. In his studies of the brains of Tibetan monks and Franciscan nuns, radiologist Andrew Newberg seeks out the relationship between neural activity and mystical experience. Both men believe that the connection between the brain and spirituality suggests that there is a physiological basis for religion -- that human beings, in essence, are hard-wired for God. [more]


Consciousness - David Lodge and psychologist Kenan Malik discuss what the novel - and science -have to tell us about human consciousness. [more] [audio]

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


Archaeology (4 Dec) - Tests on skulls found in Mexico suggest they are almost 13,000 years old - and shed fresh light on how humans colonised the Americas. [more]


Bipolar disorder (4 Dec) - Can a change in diet improve our moods - or even help treat the symptoms of mental illness? Eliza Johnston, who suffers from bipolar disorder, is sure it can, reports Charlotte Cripps. [more]


Teenagers (2 Dec) - In two of the first studies of their kind, scientists have discovered that aggressive adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) may have different brain structure than other adolescents. [more]


Kleptomania (4 Dec) - Researchers at Stanford University are asking people with a propensity for stealing to come forward - but not with the intention of turning them in to the authorities. Rather, they are being invited to participate in a study to find out whether Lexapro, a drug that increases serotonin levels, could be used to treat kleptomania. [more]


Darwin (2 Dec) - A small wooden box, about to go on display at the National Maritime Museum for the first time, is probably all that remains of a tubby little ship - HMS Beagle - which changed our understanding of the world. [more]


Cognitive science (1 Dec) - A new study shows how learning--and possibly language--can influence color perception. [more]


Stress (1 Dec) - In a stressful situation, you may be better off with a pet at your side than with a friend or spouse, a new study suggests. [more]


Creationism (30 Nov) - A pro-evolution comic book world has been devised by Jay Hosler, a biology professor at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., as a way of combating the creeping influence of creationism. [more]


Longevity - Research has shown that a low-calorie lifestyle can extend the lives of species ranging from yeast to mammals, and now scientists have evidence that two genes may be the major orchestrators of this effect. [more]

PAPERS & COMMENTARY

Placebo effect (9 Dec) - The placebo effect baffles patients, confounds clinicians and frustrates drug developers. Until now, relatively little empirical evidence existed for the biological mechanisms that underlie the effect. But recently, researchers have begun approaching the challenge with methodological rigor. [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

Language - Newly published research indicates that word order is not driven solely by the demands of communicating information to another, but may reflect a more general property of human thought. [more]



Antidepressants (6 Dec) - Several studies over the past 15 years have compared the number of fatal poisonings due to antidepressant drugs in the United Kingdom with drug use statistics to derive a fatal toxicity index: deaths per million prescriptions. Greater than 10-fold differences in the index have been shown between tricyclic antidepressants and even larger differences between some tricyclics and newer antidepressants. [more]


Oldest American writing (6 Dec) - Archaeologists may have found the oldest example of writing from the Americas. The find gives clues to how the ancient civilizations of Central America developed, they say. Others dispute that the objects discovered bear writing. Nature Science Update, New Scientist.



Language (5 Dec) - New research shows that babies' brains are primed to learn language long before they utter or understand their first words. Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz of the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and her colleagues found that while 3-month-old babies are read to in their native language, they show brain activity in some of the regions of the adult brain that specialize in language. Much of that activity disappears when sentences are read to the babies backwards, the authors report in the December 6th issue of the journal Science. [more]


Autism (5 Dec) - UC Davis researchers are ready to launch the first-ever major epidemiological case-control study of up to 2,000 California children to examine genetic and environmental factors that may affect the development of autism, mental retardation and developmental delay in children. [more]


Mathematics (6 Dec) - Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, proved in 1931, showed that it was not possible to formulate a set of axioms that would allow you to prove all of the true facts of mathematics. Gödel's result showed that the axiomatic method, while extremely powerful-it continues to play a central role in mathematics-has inherent limitations. As described in an Essay by Keith Devlin, the Incompleteness Theorem did not lead to any major changes within mathematics, but it changed forever the way mathematicians view the subject. [more]


Origin of life (4 Dec) - Life on Earth may have begun in rocks on the ocean floor. More than 4 billion years ago, tiny cavities in minerals may have served as the first cells, two biologists are proposing. [more]


Genetics (3 Dec) - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have bred a mouse to model human L1 retrotransposons, the so-called "jumping genes." Retrotransposons are small stretches of DNA that are copied from one location in the genome and inserted elsewhere, typically during the genesis of sperm and egg cells. EurekAlert, New Scientist, BBC News Online, The Guardian, New York Times.


Psychopharmacology (1 Dec) - Man-made chemicals that are distant relatives of marijuana may eventually become new drugs to combat anxiety and depression, according to a UC Irvine College of Medicine study. The study is the first to show how anxiety is controlled by the body's anandamide system, a network of natural compounds known for their roles in governing pain, mood and other psychological functions. [more]


Search Now:
 
In Association with Amazon.co.uk

Psychiatry (1 Dec) - A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (Vol. 131, No. 4) suggests something that most clinicians probably already suspected: While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) may be atheoretical, clinicians are anything but. [more]


Schizophrenia (28 Nov) - UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers have identified 10 key factors to recovery from schizophrenia. The findings open opportunities to develop new treatment and rehabilitation programs and to reshape the negative expectations of many doctors, patients and their families. [more]


REVIEWS & DISCUSSION (cont.)

Sexual behaviour - David P. Barash reviews Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson. [more] [review]

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


History - science - Stephen S. Hall reviews Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science -- From the Babylonians to the Maya by Dick Teresi. [more] [review]

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


Philosophy - Stuart Jeffries reviews Truth & Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy by Bernard Arthur Owen Williams. [more] [review]

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

REVIEWS & DISCUSSION

Biography - Josie Glausiusz reviews Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox. [more] [review] Science Friday speaks to Brenda Maddox. [more] [audio] [more]

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


Search Now:
 
In Association with Amazon.com

History - Craig Canine reviews The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World by Jenny Uglow. [more] [review]

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


Biography - Thomas Söderqvist reviews In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace. A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History by Michael Shermer. [more] [review]

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


Science - history - James E. McClellan reviews Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science -- from the Babylonians to the Maya by Dick Teresi. [more] [review]

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


Genetics - Neil Levy reviews What Genes Can't Do by Lenny Moss. [more] [review]

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


Mental health - Peter B. Raabe reviews Rethinking Mental Health and Disorder: Feminist Perspectives by Mary B. Ballou and Laura S. Brown. [more] [review]

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


Evolution - Darwin's Blind Spot by Frank Ryan. [more] [review]

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


Human sciences - Kevin Shapiro reviews The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. [more] [by Steven Pinker] [review] [interview] [video] A review by Kenan Malik. [review]

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


Wealth - Journalist Richard Conniff probes the age-old question, "Are the rich different from you and me?" He discovers that they are indeed a completely different animal in The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide. [more] [excerpt] [interview] [review]

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


Globalization - Andres Martinez reviews One World: The Ethics of Globalization by Peter Singer. [more] [review]

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