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Latest Nature versus nurture Stories

2011-06-29 13:03:53

Living through weddings or divorces, job losses and children's triumphs, we sometimes feel better and sometimes feel worse. But, psychologists observe, we tend to drift back to a "set point""”a stable resting point, or baseline, in the mind's level of contentment or unease. Research has shown that the set points for depression and anxiety are particularly stable over time. Why? "The overwhelming view within psychiatry and psychology is that is due to genetic factors," says Virginia...

2011-03-10 13:46:41

What happened to being "quiet as a mouse"? Researchers have recently shown that, rather than being the silent creatures of popular belief, mice emit ultrasonic calls in a variety of social contexts, and these calls have song-like characteristics. So if mice sing, where do they get their music? Are they born with the songs fully formed in their heads, or do they learn them from their peers? This question is of great interest to scientists as, while many organisms produce genetically regulated...

2011-01-10 15:01:58

Growing up poor can suppress a child's genetic potential to excel cognitively even before the age of 2, according to research from psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin. Half of the gains that wealthier children show on tests of mental ability between 10 months and 2 years of age can be attributed to their genes, the study finds. But children from poorer families, who already lag behind their peers by that age, show almost no improvements that are driven by their genetic makeup....

2010-12-11 00:27:19

Children with ADHD can sometimes have more difficulties on math and reading tests compared to their peers. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, used identical and fraternal twins to look at the genetic and environmental influences underlying ADHD behaviors, reading, and math skills in children in an attempt to better understand the relationship among them. Sara Hart, of the Florida State University, and her colleagues used...

2010-11-03 17:28:19

The nature-nurture debate is a "giant step" closer to being resolved after scientists studying bees documented how environmental inputs can modify our genetic hardware. The researchers uncovered extensive molecular differences in the brains of worker bees and queen bees which develop along very different paths when put on different diets The research was led by Professor Ryszard Maleszka of The Australian National University's College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, working with...

2009-12-28 16:45:44

Research published in Political Research Quarterly Genetics play a pivotal role in shaping how individual's identify with political parties, according to an article in a recent issue of Political Research Quarterly, the official journal of the Western Political Science Association (published by SAGE). Political party identification (PID) is among the most studied concepts in modern political science. Scholars have long held that PID was the result of socialization factors, including parental...

2009-10-12 15:25:00

Culture is more important than genes to altruistic behavior in large-scale societies Socially learned behavior and belief are much better candidates than genetics to explain the self-sacrificing behavior we see among strangers in societies, from soldiers to blood donors to those who contribute to food banks. This is the conclusion of a study by Adrian V. Bell and colleagues from the University of California Davis in the Oct. 12 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....

2009-07-22 09:00:18

A research report published in the July 2009 issue of the journal GENETICS (http://www.genetics.org) complicates the debate over whether nature or nurture plays the most important role in complex diseases such as psychiatric disorders, heart disease, and cancer. In the report, a scientist from the University of California, Berkeley explains how epigenetics (temporary changes in gene function) and gene mutations (permanent, heritable changes in gene structure) contribute to disease risk in a...

2009-07-21 08:54:13

It's easy to explain why we act a certain way by saying "it's in the genes," but a group of University of Iowa scientists say the world has relied on that simple explanation far too long. In research to be published today in Child Development Perspectives, the UI team calls for tossing out the nature-nurture debate, which they say has prevailed for centuries in part out of convenience and intellectual laziness. They support evolution -- but not the idea that genes are a one-way path to...

2009-07-03 11:12:33

Practice, practice, practice might get you to Carnegie Hall, but for aspiring musicians, there's new evidence that genes may influence one's ability to get there, as well.Perfect pitch, also known as absolute pitch, is the rare ability to recognize and name musical notes without any reference pitch for comparison, detecting, for instance, A before middle C. The rarity of the aptitude contrasts with the common ability to immediately recognize and name colors, distinguishing pink from red or...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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