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Testing for the Lord's voice
Is speaking in tongues the Lord's voice or a vocal performance? A neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to find out. So Andrew Newberg recruited five volunteers, all of whom had spent at least five years in church speaking in tongues, technically known as glossolalia. To find out whether the intensity could be measured by brain activity, during the recitation each subject was given a shot of slightly radioactive material. The pictures surprised him. They showed decreased activity in the frontal and parietal lobes - the areas that manage control and sense of orientation. "They feel like they're not in charge, not in control," said Newberg, whose findings appear in the current issue of the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
Discoveries in the pursuit of happiness
In his best-selling book, Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert suggests all decisions are about making our future selves happy. Think about it. We get married because we believe it will make us happier. We divorce for the same reason. When we're lonely, some call a friend, some go to bed, and some go to bed with a friend. The goal is the same - as it is for some people who eat great volumes of food, or so little they starve. When we look back, many choices that we thought would make us happier turned out to be wrong. We work hard to buy that new house, or to get into that prestigious university. They may actually make us unhappy. Gilbert believes the reverse is also true. What we think will make us miserable often causes happiness. How many people have reported that their lives got better after a trauma?
Religion Not Source of 'Moral Codes' ? An Evolutionary Theory of Right and Wrong. Primatologists like Frans de Waal have long argued that the roots of human morality are evident in social animals like apes and monkeys. The animals’ feelings of empathy and expectations of reciprocity are essential behaviors for mammalian group living and can be regarded as a counterpart of human morality. Marc D. Hauser, a Harvard biologist, has built on this idea to propose that people are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution. In a new book, “Moral Minds” (HarperCollins 2006), he argues that the grammar generates instant moral judgments which, in part because of the quick decisions that must be made in life-or-death situations, are inaccessible to the conscious mind.
Pride May Not Come Before A Fall, After All (June 15, 2007) -- The Bible got it wrong. Pride only goes before a fall when it's hubris -- excessive pride that veers into self-aggrandizement and conceit. But otherwise, this emotion is fundamental to humans and healthy self-esteem, says Psychology Asst. Prof. Jessica Tracy.
A Penn researcher who studies high achievers says it isn't I.Q., grades, or leadership skills that leads to success. It's good, old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness. By Virginia A. Smith.
Plays Role In Relapse Of Illicit Drug-seeking Behavior
Inbred strains of rats differ in how aggressively they seek cocaine after a few weeks of use, researchers say. The finding is another piece of evidence that genetics plays a role in the relapse of drug-seeking behavior in humans, says Dr. Paul J. Kruzich, behavioral neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia and lead study author.