Emotional Mirrors

Thus, when people use the expression I feel your pain to indicate both comprehension and empathy, they may not realize just how literally true their statement could be. A paradigmatic example is the emotion of disgust, a basic reaction whose expression has important survival value for fellow members of a species. In its most primitive form, disgust indicates that something the individual tastes or smells is bad and, most likely, dangerous. Once again using fMRI studies, we...

More To Explore

Only restoration of a sea filled with apex predators will be acceptable. Coastal dead zones remind us that humanity cannot simply expect natural ecosystems to absorb our wastes without severe and often unexpected consequences. We now know how to revive dead zones, but ultimately the steps required to do so depend on our recognition of the ramifications to the environment of waste disposal and the degree to which we value the world's marine ecosystems. Marine Benthic Hypoxia A Review of Its...

Comes From Inscribed Stones And Clay Writing Tablets Dug Up In Mesopotamia

The Greeks, Basques, Hebrews and many tribes in Siberia had this basic star myth combination. Surprisingly, the same bear stars and stories surfaced throughout North America. With some variations, many tribes of the New World including the Cherokee, Algonquin, Zuni, Tlingit and Iroquois share the interpretation of the bear followed by three hunters. How can we explain the close matching of widespread traditions between the Old World and the New The Bear is unlikely to be an independent...

California Here We Come

At the end of An Inconvenient Truth, the well-received documentary about global warming that appeared in theaters this past summer, the filmmakers provided a list of practical steps that anyone can take to tackle this looming environmental problem. Perhaps the most memorable suggestion was this one Vote for leaders who pledge to solve this crisis. Write to Congress. If they don't listen, run for Congress. Unfortunately, the federal government is lagging behind other nations in the effort to...

Anatomy Of An Attack

Even an astute person can fall victim to a well-designed mobile worm, such as CommWarrior. Some 15 variants of this worm have been seen since the malware was first spotted in March 2005. CommWarrior exploits the Bluetooth user interface to persuade victims to install the malware on their phones. Once active, it can spread rapidly via Bluetooth connections, multimedia (MMS) messages and memory cards. IAs Bob boards a bus, his smartphone beeps. Another phone in the vehicle is carrying...

The Salience Landscape Theory

Stimulus Salience

To account for some of the secondary symptoms of autism hypersensitivity, avoidance of eye contact, aversion to certain sounds, and so on researchers have developed the salience landscape theory. In a typical child, sensory information is relayed to the amygdala, the gateway to the emotion-regulating limbic system. Using input from stored knowledge, the amygdala determines how the child should respond emotionally to each stimulus, creating a salience landscape of the child's environment. In...

Key Stages In The Formation Of A Dead Zone

The events underlying the creation of the Black Sea dead zone were fairly typical of how similar oxygen-depleted (hypoxic) areas form, although the details vary from case to case. At the root was eutrophication, an excessive inflow of plant nutrients that resulted in an overgrowth of algae and other small floating photosynthetic plants, which led indirectly to hypoxia and to the death of plants and animals in the lower depths. The decline of the ecosystem followed three stages described...

The Farnese Atlas

The oldest surviving depiction of the set of Greek constellations appears on a second-century A.D. Roman statue called the Farnese Atlas. Art historians conclude that the statue is a copy of a Greek original. Now in Naples, the marble carving depicts the god Atlas holding a sky globe on his shoulder. My detailed analysis of the positions of the constellations on the globe reveals that the figures are placed with an accuracy of better than two degrees for a date of 125 B.C., with an uncertainty...