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Gender Based Brain Research
May 3, 2005 6:18 PM   Subscribe

A review of the current state of gender based brain research shows that women and men differ both in the way their brains are constructed and in how they function.
..correlation between brain region size in adults and sex steroid action in utero suggests that at least some sex differences in cognitive function do not result from cultural influences or the hormonal changes associated with puberty--they are there from birth.
Treatment for such things as schizophrenia and depression will likely have gender specific variations in the future. Previously, brain research that examined gender differences was considered controversial because it was argued that the results might give rise to more sex discrimination against women. That view may be changing. posted by peacay (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
That last article is a real keeper--thanks for the post!
posted by josh at 6:49 PM on May 3, 2005


I don't know--this was too weird--They took their video camera to a maternity ward to examine the preferences of babies that were only one day old. The infants saw either the friendly face of a live female student or a mobile that matched the color, size and shape of the student's face and included a scrambled mix of her facial features. To avoid any bias, the experimenters were unaware of each baby's sex during testing. When they watched the tapes, they found that the girls spent more time looking at the student, whereas the boys spent more time looking at the mechanical object. This difference in social interest was evident on day one of life--implying again that we come out of the womb with some cognitive sex differences built in.

Have they repeated this experiment?

In general, it's already been proven that boys are handled more physically than girls even as infants, and are encouraged more physically than girls, and are dressed more freely, allowing for more range of movement (that's true throughout our lives)-- I think that encourages different neural connections than the treatment girls get, no?
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on May 3, 2005


this reminds me of the Simon LeVay study on gay brain differences
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on May 3, 2005


That's it peacay!

As soon as I get back from running out of the room to vomit, I'm making sure you never become President of Harvard!
posted by orthogonality at 8:53 PM on May 3, 2005


amberglow, I too baulked when I saw that thing with the day only kids. A bit of a stretch. The weight of the rest of the review still points towards actual differences between the sexes in their brains at birth and I guess the reason I thought it most worth posting as a FPP was that it introduces the likelihood of treatment regime variations between the sexes for at least psychiatric problems, down the track. I also figured that the feminist disagreement ought to be aired, hence the 2nd +/- the 3rd link.

And to be truthful, I'd really have to go back and read the SciAm article again to debate the at-birth brain differences position. When I read it some hours ago, despite having reservations about the visual thing with the newborns, I had formed the opinion that there was pretty strong proof there of in-utero differences that maybe become augmented or adjusted by behaviour later on, but that the 'raw clay' of the baby's brains being different at birth still were in evidence. I'm not about to make bold assertions -- this is pretty deep science and obviously a lot more material would need to be gathered to form a cemented position - that's what the SciAm article was trying to do of course.

Here's some of the links I left out because I didn't want to fold in too many items. Noone here wants to read a book. There's also this paper on the gay brain thing which I've not read but it came from here which has some more links, some of which I know are dead. I'm not about to get into the gay v straight brain biology debate though. I'll check out your link but but but...it's no doubt very tricky territory in terms of science and otherwise.

And on prev: ortho, t'would be difficult indeed to administer Harvard from this distance. But if the salary meets my lifestyle hallucinations requirements, I'll give it a punt.
posted by peacay at 8:56 PM on May 3, 2005


Pandrogynous?!

No... metasexual. (gratuitous self-link.)

*ducks!*
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:00 PM on May 3, 2005


Funny how some people react to the possibility of sexual dimorphism in humans extending to the brain in a knee-jerk way similar to the way some religious people react to the theory of evolution.

Of course there's been/there is a lot of nonsense on both those subjects, so it's fair to be very careful and skeptical. But come on! It looks to me like the "it's all nurture" argument is getting increasingly improbable, PC be damned. And anyway let's discard simplistic notions that "different" means "one better than the other".

One intriguing idea is that biological differences might lead men and women to thrive differently (learn better, feel more comfortable, etc.) in different environments. That would be a case where learning about differences would actually help reduce inequality, or better actualize both sexes.

Hum. Interesting topic, anyway. For a more authorititive and subtle view, that last link by Diane Halpern is good:

I recited what I call “the old party line.” First, there are no sex differences, other than those involved in reproduction. ... I believed that any evidence showing cognitive sex differences could be explained by experimenter bias, by flaws in the data, sloppy researchers, etc. ... But as the data was accumulated and the evidence that there are sex differences in cognition became impossible to ignore, I changed my explanation of choice and I espoused the point of view that the differences were too small of be of any practical significance. ... It seemed that just as I perfected that argument, large-effect sizes began creeping into the literature. When this response would no longer work, I once again knew with certainty that such large differences that were found could be attributed completely to differential socialization practices. In this way I was able to maintain for many years a tidy explanation of how and why females and males differ with regard to variables that are unrelated to reproduction.

What do I know now? Well, I know a lot more, but am certain about a lot less.

posted by Turtle at 9:06 PM on May 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


The SciAm article is pretty clear. My fiftyish tomboyish wife and I raised a young girl according to our PC beliefs (not dogmaticallly, thank God), but she turned out to be concerned about relationships above all (a good thing!), and also the other girly-girl concerns (which I don't need to catalogue here).

A magnifying glass and a sun and crayons and leaves would keep me busy for hours, months, years. My daughter? Ten minutes.

That's just one story...but...my daughter would be a better president than me. Or my wife, but that's another story.

Men and women are different physically...unless you believe in the old tabula rasa concept, isn't it clear that culture is not all that makes men and women different?
posted by kozad at 9:19 PM on May 3, 2005


Great post!

I read the Sci Am article previously, but that last link was superb. The studies involving left-handedness especially interest me, as a "mathematically precocious" left handed male who always wondered why I thought I saw so many left hands writing during those grade school math competitions. My pet theory was that southpaws hated english and the like because their hands smeared what they wrote, whereas in math, they got to use pencils.

On preview, kozad, when you talk about "a magnifying glass and a sun and crayons and leaves" my first thought was to melt the wax crayons and use the leaves as a wick to start a big fire. Was that what you had in mind? Or is it just me?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:58 PM on May 3, 2005


"it's all nurture" argument is getting increasingly improbable

It always was improbable. I continue to be amazed, well at least surprised, that otherwise rational people can be so willing to ignore the evidence of their own senses and life experience on this topic.

The denial of differences in the face of obvious differences carries an implied negative value judgement about them. Sad indeed. Surely there are very good reasons for these differences to exist, let's get past the dogma once and for all, and get on with understanding what's good about them.
posted by scheptech at 10:53 PM on May 3, 2005


I continue to be amazed, well at least surprised, that otherwise rational people can be so willing to ignore the evidence of their own senses and life experience on this topic.

Hear, hear! Men and women are, on average, different. I fail to see why stating that men and women on average may think somewhat differently, may react to stimuli differently, may solve problems differently, may form social relationships differently, may navigate differently, etc., is such a taboo. (And this from someone who likes 'em both.)

And who says that such admitted differences will lead to bias only against women? Surely one could conceive of positive attributes for which men could be thought of (by biased people--a female University president, perhaps) as possibly congenitally deficient?
posted by Asparagirl at 11:28 PM on May 3, 2005


Funny how this all seems to be in the news. This afternoon, I read a great essay by Carol Tavris in the current Skeptical Inquirer (unfortunately, not online yet) describing how pretty much most of this is a repeat of things that were said in the 1970s, with about the same level of evidence. She also pointed out that just as in the 1970s, systemic discrimination and job structures are a much better explanation for observed differences in employment than cognitive differences. She also points out an overlooked issue with the Summer's flap, which is that Summer's made sweeping claims while admitting to a lack of evidence. If he lacked evidence, he should have kept his mouth shut. As she put it, the only difference between now and 1977 is that she's older and crankier in saying the same thing.

She also cites some really interesting research that behavior shapes brain as well as brain shapes behavior. People raised in a multi-lingual environment come out of adolescence with different brain structures.

peacay: And to be truthful, I'd really have to go back and read the SciAm article again to debate the at-birth brain differences position.

I wouldn't. The SciAm article is lacking critical detail including sample size, correlation, effect size and protocol necessary to judge the results.

This is critically important. For example, I'm looking at gender differences in a chat forum for late-elementary school students. I can honestly say, "girls use more words per chat message than boys." What is the difference in means? 0.05 words. Statistical significance does not equate to practical significance.

Turtle: Of course there's been/there is a lot of nonsense on both those subjects, so it's fair to be very careful and skeptical. But come on! It looks to me like the "it's all nurture" argument is getting increasingly improbable, PC be damned. And anyway let's discard simplistic notions that "different" means "one better than the other".

The stupid thing is, the more I look at the history of this argument, "it's all nurture" seems to be frequently a straw man. That is, even the radical behaviorists have given a nod to "nature."

But I read (and quote) Halpern quite differently: "What do I know now? Well, I know a lot more, but am certain about a lot less. I discovered that explanations of cognitive sex differences are much more complex than some single point along a continuum with biological at one end and psychosocial at the other. We will never be able to say, for example, it is 40% of one and 60% of the other. I now know that psycho-bio-social interactions are needed; ones that, in fact, recognize the reciprocal effects that psychology, biology, and sociology have on each other. I know that we need a theory that recognizes that experience alters the biological underpinnings of behavior. Our experience changes our biology, which in turn, influences the types of experiences to with we are exposed."

Asparagirl: Hear, hear! Men and women are, on average, different. I fail to see why stating that men and women on average may think somewhat differently, may react to stimuli differently, may solve problems differently, may form social relationships differently, may navigate differently, etc., is such a taboo. (And this from someone who likes 'em both.)

I think there is a huge gap between what the research says, and what the media says about the research. The key to this is variance. People like Halpern and Tarvis seem to actually have a good concept of a bell curve. Halpern says, "There is considerable between-sex overlap in all of the cognitive abilities, with large numbers of males demonstrating high verbal abilities, and large number of females demonstrating high visual-spatial quantitative abilities."

Stufflebeam admits, "A sufficiently mature neuroscience would be such that, if the brains of males and females [or heterosexuals and homosexuals] were in fact structurally dimorphic, a neuroanatomist, when given a brain, would definitively be able to individuate both the sex and sexual orientation of the individual to whom it once belonged. At present, such is not the case." Stufflebeam's argument is that research should move forward, but is likely to be difficult due to large variance. (1)

But when you get to SciAm, variance vanishes. Forbes finds the space to talk about factor analysis and loadings (to conclude that men and women are equal) without hitting variance. Gurian and Dr. Laura will dive on these without mentioning variance. There is this whole media machine pimping Mars and Venus without touching on variance.

(1) I think his argument in regards to Fausto-Sterling is off by a large degree. I think Fausto-Sterling's model grounded in systems theory is necessary for any explanation of cognition. That is, Fausto-Sterling notes that mind-brain influences are bi-directional, and respond to feedback systems.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:07 AM on May 4, 2005


Nice analysis KirkJobSluder.
I haven't read Tavris but if she's ignoring the advent of MRI, PET and wider use of CT scanning since the 70's (among other advances of course) then she's having herself on that the state of play is the same.
You're right of course about SciAm being stacked low with data. But this is a big topic. One can either slant towards behaviouralism or the anatomy/biochemistry in the brain gender debate. Whichever way it's a big lit. review. They could never incorporate full results.

Personally I'm less than concerned with the cog. neuro's opinions. That's why I haven't flogged Halpern here so much. The revealing thing to me was her evolution on the topic since the 60's. That doesn't grant her authority in this subject so much as displaying a level of accomodation that's sometimes lacking among the psychs IMHO.

I understand what you mean by variance. But I don't worry tooooooo much. This is not peer reviewing and we're not a sci-site. Sure it would be nice to have all 15,000 articles and their raw data to peruse. But I'm content on this subject to be persuaded by inferences, some of the cited experimentation and, like you, by gut reasoning (if you'll accept that term) for there being a definite brain difference between the sexes. (It is the neurobiochemists who rule, for me - it is toward their stuff that I would most be drawn, were it me preparing some sort of overview piece as with SciAm). And I'm persuaded that at that the biochemistry level there are telling differences, despite structural appearance and behavioural traits having a wide crossover area.

SciAm didn't cover a lot of stuff and included some dubious stuff (the day 1 baby data at least). I know environmental factors are important but I'd bet money on sex hormone roles having a greater influence at the molecular level. Hence the only line I sought to advance or well, at least, raise, was the likelihood that such differences will result in sex-determined pharacotherapeutics in the psychiatric field. I'll just stay right away from the IQ (bullshit is what I really think) debate, the homosexual debate or any other sex battles that the media projects onto the gender-brain research.

The idea of brain anatomy changes brought on by environment is interesting. We need a farm of identical twins who will donate brains. That's a big part of the battle - the difficulty of studying something when you really need to kill the subjects to get solid data.
posted by peacay at 5:41 PM on May 4, 2005


And who says that such admitted differences will lead to bias only against women? Surely one could conceive of positive attributes for which men could be thought of (by biased people--a female University president, perhaps) as possibly congenitally deficient?
There is bias against both, depending on context. Many people have shown that the structured classroom environment that relies on obedience and attention is not the best learning environment for boys, and one reason why girls do better in school--that doesn't mean that it's innate differences tho, more than socialization.
The problem is that people take these things and go, "AHA!!!!" and start to legislate, organize, and structure based on them. We already have many studies of different learning styles and different behavioral styles that aren't dependent on brain structure for an explanation, for one example. There's a real reason many are reluctant to wholeheartedly accept these things--they know the sometimes horrible things that result.
There's also the worry that people will start to "fix" what they see as a deficient or out-of-the-norm brain based on sex differences alone, and we do not want to go there, at least any more than we already have. It seems to me that many of these studies focusing on solely physical differences are asking for that sort of result, in a way different from genetic or hormone studies, or "nurture" studies.

The idea of brain anatomy changes brought on by environment is interesting.
Hasn't that already been clearly proven tho? Different connections are formed by different stimulus and treatment? We've also seen how kids brought up lacking certain things--like language or touch--have enormous trouble acquiring them later, if at all.
posted by amberglow at 5:55 PM on May 4, 2005


peacay: I haven't read Tavris but if she's ignoring the advent of MRI, PET and wider use of CT scanning since the 70's (among other advances of course) then she's having herself on that the state of play is the same.

To my memory she's not. In fact, one of her bits of evidence is studies on developmental difference in the Broca region between people who were raised in multi-lingual environments and people who learned a second language as adults. It's just that the MRI, PET and CT scans are turning up the same results that were found with neuroanatomy and cognitive testing since the 60s. Small significant differences between genders teased out from huge individual variance.

Meanwhile, the existence of these differences does not mean that we should not examine systemic and economic factors. She makes an interesting analogy. Suppose that there is an assembly line in a chocolate factory that requires a person be at least 5'5". This will result in more men than women on the assembly line. But we wouldn't argue that women are not working that assembly line because of a fear of chocolate, or different cognitive abilities in regards to chocolate. However, Summers is making the argument that we shouldn't look at his policies, but at something he admits he has little evidence to support.

I understand what you mean by variance. But I don't worry tooooooo much. This is not peer reviewing and we're not a sci-site.

I don't know. I don't think that variance is important to just peer review, I think it's important to just understand what is and is not being said. Variance means that if you take two random kids and assume a girl will be better than a boy at some task involving language development, you will be wrong almost 50% of the time.

Perhaps this is because I'm working in education, but where I see this heading is that one group is looking at this and saying, "hey, we need separate methods, because boys and girls on average are different." Meanwhile, I look at the data and thinking that individual differences overwhelm gender differences. So while some people look at the data and think, "single-sex schools," I look at the data and think, "individualized instruction."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:19 PM on May 4, 2005


KJS is on the money.

I concur with the idea that the 'it's all nurture' argument is very often a strawman; to that, I'll add, that the 'it's all nature' argument is often _not_ a strawman. What irked people at Harvard about Larry Summers (and I can say this, being here at Harvard as a graduate student right now) was exactly his combination of admittedly lacking evidence and 'common-sense' conviction. It's these 'common-sense' arguments ("come on, everybody can see men and women are different!") that get us into trouble.

Ever since the Summers thing I've been reading up on this in my spare time, and time and time again I'm struck by the real, very amazing fact at the bottom of current neuroscience: it is simply incredible how complex and intricate the relationship between nature and culture can be. My favorite example so far is in neurophysiological explanations of music: how incredible is it that our brains can be satisfied by birdsong, a child's cry, and Schoenberg? That's why I like the last article--because it argues that this science is fascinating and valuable (true), and that it's inconclusive and rudimentary (also true).

Anyway, great post, thanks again!
posted by josh at 6:41 PM on May 4, 2005


amberglow this was on delicious popular today.
===========
Variance means that if you take two random kids and assume a girl will be better than a boy at some task involving language development, you will be wrong almost 50% of the time.
The (arguably squirming away from in depth treatment in the face of lack of data and your obvious decent grip on the thing as a whole) only thing I want to see is experimental setups and data from neurochemistry. Behavioural data does not cut it with me - in this regard I'm not disagreeing, I'm just trying to say that the molecular level exploration has greater credibility when contemplating medical treatments. So I think we may have been talking at crossed purposes to an extent.
The way that cognitive differences manifest are obviously fraught with interpretative problems. So is the chemistry, but less so - rats are reasonable models.
So, I'm a little out of my depth in that you and josh have got background reading. And yes josh, Halpern has a balanced approach - hers is a reasonable position, all the moreso because she's honest in the path she's taken in understanding since the early days.
My thing is (was) medical science so if I gloss about other things (which all have effect/a role) it's because I'm less focused on things like visuospatial or educational or learning aspects or even what fudging role the media plays. It may be partly a cop-out and also lacking to an extent in proper scientific integrity, but I'm unlikely to be easily persuaded from a belief in cell level differences in brain biochemistry between the sexes. Testosterone and oestrogen are certain to be major components. Thanks for all the input.
posted by peacay at 7:12 PM on May 4, 2005


yup, peacay--that's exactly what i meant in terms of learning. : >

i'm out of my depth too, but would you say that all those learning differences were due to brain region size/shape differences? And were those differences present from gestation/birth? That's where i think we may differ.
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on May 4, 2005


And only explaining it by sex is way too limiting, i think, if it turns out to be so.
posted by amberglow at 7:44 PM on May 4, 2005


I've just finished up a post-doctoral fellowship studying mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation in rats. Of course, rats aren't humans, but genetically are pretty damn close. Their brains (and mice, ferrets, guinea pigs, monkeys, etc.) are sexually differentiated wrt. neuronal outgrowth, synapse formation, cell aggregation into nuclei, cell death, response to insult, neurotransmitter concentrations and turnover etc. etc. etc. Many many brain processes and structures are sexually differentiated (consequent to differential testosterone and estradiol exposure in utero), and direct links between synaptic patterning and behaviors are being uncovered all the time. The problem is of course extrapolation. We just can't do these experiments in humans.

Interestingly, Melissa Hines, one of the scientists mentioned in the Sci Am article is a collaborator of ours.
posted by gaspode at 7:45 PM on May 4, 2005


wow ... thanks gaspode (my cognition not to mention deductive reasoning are warmed by your ratribution)

amberglow...I guess there's general patterns sometimes seen that favour one sex. But this is what I was saying - how do you divide up chemistry from environment by the time they're old enough to identify their learning strengths?

Oh...gaspode........are you aware of endorphin findings at all? I recall that about 10 years or more ago when it was de rigeur for labs to work with male rats in neuro/pharmo research because it had been expected that extrapolations could be made to females from the large males, but that one particular lab coudn't get any males because of their 'popularity'. As I heard it, their neurofractionating experiments showed something like: females had a store of endorphins which were easily released (thus accounting for things like greater effects of alcohol on females irrespective of body weight +/- arguably greater pain limits for instance) as opposed to males who had little or no stores so stimuli caused transcription upregulation. Or so the story goes.....does this have any ring of confidence to it??
posted by peacay at 7:59 PM on May 4, 2005


Peacay,

Well, it's not my field, but either levels of endorphins (and I think, enkephalins and dynorphins) or their receptors are sexually differentiated. Interestingly, the research seems now that females actually feel more pain than males.
there are very new findings in humans that females don't respond as efficiently to exogenous opioids, and hence many pain meds just don't work as well on women. Likewise endogenous opioids aren't as effective as in males, so women seem to feel more pain. It's a double whammy.

My email is in my profile if you wanna get into this any more.
posted by gaspode at 8:35 PM on May 4, 2005


Nah...it's ok. I may need your head later for stranger things. It was good to hear your perspective.

I'd heard about the pain thing........and I recall that I didn't think much of the experimental setup........cold hand in water and being 'bought' out with money etc. P'raps there's more to it -- but that's why I put it as 'arguably greater pain limits for females'. Better pain control (which, who knows, may not be totally reliant on molecules found to date) makes sense from an evolutioreproductive sense for the sproglet production -- not that that is any sort of backwards logic upon which to hang a hat of course. Strange or at least curious about the exo/endo-opoids. If someone will pay me money I'll check it out further.
My leaning towards the money is not bias, I'm just leaning.
posted by peacay at 12:14 AM on May 5, 2005


Thanks for very interesting discussion all. Tricky stuff.

Just for comic (?) relief:
“I’m so sick of hearing females can’t do this and females can’t do that. Blah, blah, blah.”
posted by Turtle at 3:56 AM on May 5, 2005


Field research Turtle?
----------
I wonder if the alleged 52% lower levels of serotonin in women has been researched in relation to prozac doseage, efficacy etc versus men.
You'd perhaps expect, if they dose say according to body weight alone, that depressed women would generally have a poorer response to the drug than men because they have lower levels of serotonin normally (just assuming for the moment that oestrogen doesn't synergistically potentiate the effects of serotonin or that there's no uberefficient binding coefficient at the synapses in females or the somesuch).
Sure, there'd be other factors involved, but in my perhaps naive grappling for understanding of the biochem-o-braingender differences, some novel drug trials could be set up around serotonin and no doubt others, for instance, to indirectly investigate the rat/mammal findings. Wouldn't even have to kill the subjects, if they played nice. Hmm......probably already locked and loaded by $pharma$ I guess. Just riffin' here...
posted by peacay at 5:00 AM on May 5, 2005


Peacay,

Re: the women and pain thing -- it makes sense which means we all wanna believe it. IMO, the jury's still out, but I was at a symposium on gender and pain a couple of years ago, and much of the research looks like it goes the other way.

(of course there are many other confounds to human research in pain like the differential rates of reporting pain between sexes, and the fact that doctors are more likely to prescribe stronger meds to men - make of the last one what you will).

Oh oh, and someone upthread talked about brain structural differences being brought about by the environment, and beahviors? That's my new field of research (specifically sexual behavior changing neuronal connectivity). Yay!

I'll stop the shameless research self-promoting now.
posted by gaspode at 6:47 AM on May 5, 2005


Not at all.....we're lucky in this wacky place that there are so many experts (or in your case that will be sexpert *boom tish*) and indeed dabbling aficionados who contribute. This is a fucking BIG area of knowledge obviously and it's nice sometimes to work through it here with a few points of view. I'm actually looking for work at present and it's days like these with some (for me anyway) taxing gristle to chew upon, in which the call to return to science rings louder than my other 'hats'. Should that happen I may just add this thread to my portfolio of influences.
posted by peacay at 7:12 AM on May 5, 2005


..specifically sexual behavior changing neuronal connectivity..
You're not looking at phantom orgasms by any strange chance??? Top-drawer fascinating and anecdotal yet seeming uninvestigated phenomenon. I've always thought that there's possibly a LOT to be learned there about female sex imprinting/neural pathways......maybe.
posted by peacay at 8:12 AM on May 5, 2005


Take up the call to science! Science ho!

I've never even heard of phantom orgasms. Here comes a google search...

Nah, all my research is in rats. I'm in the process of writing a paper that shows increase in synaptic specific proteins and post-synaptic structures in the hippocampus of male rats that have been sexually active compared with those that got to interact socially with females but not copulate, and those that didn't interact at all. It's a cool field, describing the way the environment interacts with the brain to influence behavior (to affect the environment, to affect the brain....). Makes the whole term "nature vs nurture" seem ridiculously simplistic.
posted by gaspode at 9:59 AM on May 5, 2005


hint: quadriplegics. You won't find much googling as I recall. Nicole Kidman's daddy introduced me to the conept of phantom orgasms back in the day. (my only claim to fame - have to sneak one in where I can) At the time the bastard gave me all the wrong references and I never had time to thresh it out because it was like, a little bit of a sideline consideration to biochem iv. and I had a few trillion other frantically cancerous undergrad growths on me that needed excising I mean researching. I found one article a couple of months ago.........actually I've probably still got it - I sent it to another MeFite. So I'll see if it's there and shoot it to you. It wasn't a great piece but still, a novel area of intrigue (may really be closer to philosophy than biochem/neurosci/[insert neologistic sci-tag].
Cheers.
And good luck with your sexual proteins. Me? I like to research them ones in my own time *cough*.
posted by peacay at 10:50 AM on May 5, 2005


the NYT has an article about advances in seeing how the brain works in tom'w's magazine: Of Two Minds
posted by amberglow at 7:10 PM on May 7, 2005


'the ordinary, simple idea of a single person will come to seem quaint some day, when the complexities of the human control system become clearer and we become less certain that there is anything very important that we are one of.'
mmmm...gourmand syndrome.

Thnx amberglow - fascinating stuff.
posted by peacay at 2:27 AM on May 8, 2005


On a similar vein but with much better debating skills.
posted by peacay at 1:14 AM on May 12, 2005


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