Sep

27

1) "The Search for intelligence in our genes" by Carl Zimmer

"there must be hundreds—perhaps thousands—of genes that together produce the full range of gene-based variation in intelligence."   One of these genes may have been identified by R. Plomin; it accounts for 0.4 percent of the variation in the IQ scores. Research is revealing unanticipated complexity in the interplay between genes and environment.

2)A new book coming out next week from Nicole Rafter entitled, "The Criminal Brain: Understanding Biological Theories of Crime"  

"Enhanced with fascinating illustrations and written in lively prose, The Criminal Brain examines [current issues in criminology] in light of the history of ideas about the criminal brain. By tracing the birth and growth of enduring ideas in criminology, as well as by recognizing historical patterns in the interplay of politics and science, she offers ways to evaluate new theories of the criminal brain that may radically reshape ideas about the causes of criminal behavior."

3) "Why do we like to dance: And move to the beat?" by Columbia neurologist John Krakauer

"mirror neurons —cells found in the cortex, activate when a person is performing an action as well as watching someone else do it. Increasing evidence suggests that sensory experiences are also motor experiences. Music and dance may just be particularly pleasurable activators of these sensory and motor circuits. So, if you're watching someone dance, your brain's movement areas activate; unconsciously, you are planning and predicting how a dancer would move based on what you would do.  

4) A Switch to Turn Off Autism? by Susannah F. Locke

Scientists say they have pinpointed a gene in the brain that can calm nerve cells that become too jumpy, potentially paving the way for new therapies to treat autism and other neurological disorders.


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