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Archive for September, 2007

natureneuro.gifThe new Nature Neuroscience issue contains a special focus on emotion and disorders of emotion. As far as I can tell, all papers are free of charge, so go and grab them while you can. Of special interest to BrainEthics readers will be a review by Turhan Canli and Klaus-Peter Lesch of the role of the serotonin transporter in emotion regulation and social cognition, and one by Andreas Olsson and Elizabeth Phelps on “Social learning of fear”.

Emotion research is an ever-increasingly important part of neuroscience, so this is a particularly wellcome initiative on the part of Nature Neuroscience.

-Martin

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the-political-brain.jpgMy new book, Følelser og kognition (see below), is starting to garner some attention in the Danish press. Tuesday I appeared on the Danish National Radio’s premiere current affairs show, Orientering, to talk about the role of emotions in politics. If you speak Danish you can hear the programme here. First there is an interview with American psychologist Drew Westen who is famous for having conducted an fMRI experiment where, during the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, republican and democratic voters were presented with contradicting statements about the two candidates, Bush and Kerry. In essence, the results showed that, whereas the subjects had no problem accepting that the opposing candidate would issue conflicting statements, they were loath to accept their own candidate’s statements as contradictory. And this defensive behavior correlated with enhanced neural activity in a number of areas usually thought to subserve emotion processing. Westen recently published a book called The Political Brain, and most of the interview with him is about this book. Afterwards, the host and I talk more generally about the relation between emotion and cognition in human behavior.

-Martin

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