Spike activity 2005-03-18

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:


Researchers from the University of Zurich suggest kindness to strangers may be uniquely part of human nature.

An insightful article on mindfulness meditation discusses its benefits for mental health and the supporting research.

Hormone treatment for prostate cancer has been shown to have effects on thinking, showing a link between hormones and cognitive ability.

Genetic studies have suggested that an inclination to certain forms of religious belief may have a genetic basis.

“In discussing pathology I discovered that yawning and spontaneous ejaculation were mentioned concomitantly in terminal rabies. In discussing pharmacology I found a link between yawning and spontaneous orgasm in withdrawal from heroin addiction”. Donald MacLeod, writing in the Guardian, reports on the research that suggests sex and yawning may be linked. Doesn’t that always happen ? Oh, maybe that’s just…

New PLoS Biology articles on neuroaesthetics and the molecular biology of human brain evolution.

Many world leaders believe in the supernatural, astrology, ghosts, weapons of mass destruction etc.

An inventor has created cutlery with built-in electrodes for use on dates. These measure skin conductance, which is known to rise during stress or discomfort. The article doesn’t mention that conductance also rises when a person is aroused, which could lead to some wonderfully comic situations.

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