Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in US less and less for Christians

Self-identified Christians, according to Gallup, are now down to just 78 percent of adults. Related to that, religious belief is losing its importance for a greater number of Americans.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anti-depressants beat CBT on personality help

I'm not a fan or touter of Big Pharma, nor do I denigrate talk therapy.

But, it seems that SSRI antidepressants are better than cognitive therapy in lowering neuroticism and raising extraversion in depressed people. CBT helps make changes there, too, but the changes are neither as profound nor as lasting as with medication.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dead salmon, live MRI

A salmon showed human-type emotional responses to stimuli, when its brain was subject to functional magnetic resonance image scanning.

Just one problem: the salmon was dead.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One gesture worth 1,000words on language evolution

Chimpanzee gestural control is left-brain-centric, shedding new light on the evolution of human language, since it is also largely localized in the left hemisphere.
“The de­gree of predom­i­nance of the right hand for ges­tures is one of the most pro­nounced we have ev­er found in chim­panzees in com­par­i­son to oth­er non-com­mu­nica­tive man­u­al ac­tions. We al­ready found such man­u­al bi­ases in this spe­cies for point­ing ges­tures ex­clu­sively di­rect­ed to hu­mans. These ad­di­tion­al da­ta clearly showed that right-hand­edness for ges­tures is not spe­cif­ic­ally as­so­ci­at­ed to interac­tions with hu­mans,” William D. Hop­kins said.

Read the full story for more information.