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News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
The weekly edition of The Human Nature Daily Review
Volume 2: Issue 85 - 1st February, 2003 - http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

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NEWS & VIEWS

Human evolution (31 Jan) - The fossil of an early human-like creature (hominid) from southern Africa is raising fresh questions about our origins. Remains from the Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg suggest our ancestors were less chimp-like than we thought. [more]


Lie detection (31 Jan) - A new technique which interprets facial gestures has been developed by scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University and could be the most accurate lie detector yet created. [more] [audio]


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Consciousness (30 Jan) - Is the brain simply a computer, and is consciousness merely the feeling we get when we think? Or is consciousness a primary component of the universe, which the brain can latch on to, like a radio receiver? A definitive answer will always be elusive, but scientists are making intriguing forays into the subject, and if they are not explaining consciousness, they are certainly telling us a great deal about the nature of science. [more]



Communications (30 Jan) - Recalling how hard it was for people to understand what the Web was when he crafted it in 1989, Berners-Lee said he's having difficulty again explaining his new idea of the Semantic Web, for the same reason: "There's this mental leap involved." [more]


Addiction - fast food (29 Jan) - A steady diet of hamburgers, fries and foods high in fat and loaded with calories may not only pile on the pounds -- some scientists are questioning whether it could be addictive. [more]


Psychoanalysis (28 Jan) - In the last quarter century, psychoanalysis has been declared dead many times over. Psychoanalysts, once dominant in psychiatry, now stand on the sidelines of a field where drug treatments and brief forms of talk therapy are the rule. Thanks in large part to Woody Allen, Freud's talking cure has become shorthand for costly self-indulgence with no obvious benefit. And many psychiatrists barely hide their disdain for what they regard as an outmoded approach to treating mental disorders. [more]


Archaeology (27 Jan) - The image of our cavemen ancestors as wild hunters who enjoyed no better meal than flesh torn from their latest kill has been dented by new archaeological research. Chemical analysis of 6000-year-old pottery shards shows ancient Britons also had a taste for cow's milk and goat's cheese. New Scientist, BBC News Online.


Networks (25 Jan) - From Malcolm Gladwell's three-year-old best seller, "The Tipping Point," to just-published analyses like "The Influentials" and "Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers," the shelves at Barnes & Noble are laden with books alternately applauding and deploring the importance of things like hubs, connectors, mavens and influencer teens for creating fads, cementing brand loyalty and swelling profits. [more]


REVIEWS & DISCUSSION (cont.)

Religion - Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi reviews In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran. [more] [review] [audio]

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Music - John Wilkins reviews Beethoven's Anvil: Music in mind and culture by William L. Benzon. [more] [review] [audio]

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Genetics - Constantinos G. Athanasopoulos reviews Genotype to Phenotype, 2nd edition edited by S. Malcolm and J. Goodship. [more] [review]

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PAPERS & COMMENTARY

Longevity (31 Jan) - Life expectancy in elderly people is linked to the length of special structures in their DNA, according to a study published today in the British medical journal Lancet. The shorter these structures -- called telomeres -- the earlier a person died, the report found. Los Angeles Times, The Lancet.


  EuroNews BBC News The Feed Room BBC News 24 BBC Newsnight BBC Question Time 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 United Nations US Congress UK Parliament.

Audio and Video

Primatology (30 Jan) - A Madagascan lemur has been revealed as the first animal known to self-medicate when pregnant. Female sifaka eat plants rich in poisonous tannins in the weeks before giving birth, researchers have discovered. [more]



Animal behavior (30 Jan) - Male mice can control how many young their mates produce, researchers have found. Females retaliate by taking charge of how much food the babies get. Nature Science Update, Nature.


REVIEWS & DISCUSSION (cont.)

Autism - Susan Martin reviews A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, and James McPartland. [more] [review] [audio]

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Politics - David Smith reviews Darwinian Politics. The Evolutionary Origin of Freedom by Paul H. Rubin. [more] [review] [audio]

Darwinian Politics

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Philosophy - genetics - Michael Bradie reviews Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry by Gordon Graham. [more] [review]

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Evolutionary psychology - Oliver Curry reviews Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments against evolutionary psychology edited by Hilary Rose and Steven Rose. [more] [review]

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Politics - Jack Parsons reviews Darwinian Politics. The Evolutionary Origin of Freedom by Paul H. Rubin. [more] [review]

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REVIEWS & DISCUSSION

Primatology - Elena Madison reviews Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans de Waal. [more] [review]

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Rape - Evolution, Gender, and Rape edited by Cheryl Brown Travis. [more] [review]

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Mysticism - Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality by John Horgan. [more] [review]

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

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Religion - David Smith reviews In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran. [more] [review] [audio]

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Men - Daniele M. Procida reviews Y: The Descent of Men by Steve Jones. [more] [review] [audio]

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Psychology - James Brody reviews Psychology: An Evolutionary Approach by Steven Gaulin & Donald McBurney. [more] [review]

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