Experimental Economists Find Brain Regions That Govern Fear of the Economic Unknown

Do you have second thoughts when ordering a strange-sounding dish at an exotic restaurant? Afraid you'll get fricasseed eye of newt, or something even worse? If you do, it's because certain neurons in the brain are saying that the potential reward for the risk is unknown. These regions of the brain have now been pinpointed by experimental economists at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Science Historian Named Caltech/Huntington Professor

A historian with interests as wide-ranging as entomology and Greek astronomy has become the first-ever Eleanor Searle Visiting Professor in the History of Science, a newly established joint program between the California Institute of Technology and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Voting Experts Say Californians Should Make Sure Their November 8 Votes Are Counted

The November 8 special election will allow California voters to decide on a number of initiatives rather than elect new people to statewide offices. But even though votes for a candidate will not be counted this time, the possibility of "lost" votes still exists, says an authority on voting at the California Institute of Technology.

Preferring a Taste and Recognizing It May Involve Separate Brain Areas, Study Shows

Are you disgusted when you hear about Elvis Presley's fried peanut butter 'n 'nanner sandwiches? A new study shows that it could all be in your head. In fact, our taste preferences may have little to do with whether we can even recognize the substance we're eating or drinking.

Caltech Neuroscientist Receives Grant to Study How Autistic Patients Process Facial Information

Ralph Adolphs, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology, has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the Cure Autism Now foundation to study the way that autistic patients process information about other people's facial expressions.

Matthew O. Jackson Named Guggenheim Fellow

Matthew O. Jackson, the Edie and Lew Wasserman Professor of Economics at the California Institute of Technology, has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Jackson is one of 186 fellowship recipients, who include artists, scholars, and scientists.

Scientists Use fMRI to Catch Test Subjectsin the Act of Trusting One Another

Who do you trust? The question may seem distinctly human--and limited only to "quality" humans, at that--but it turns out that trust is handled by the human brain in pretty much the same way that obtaining a food award is handled by the brain of an insect. In other words, it's all a lot more primitive than we think.

New study provides insights into the brain's remembrance of emotional events

Those of us who are old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination are usually able to remember the initial announcement almost as if it's a movie running in our heads. That's because there is a well-known tendency for people to have enhanced memory of a highly emotional event, and further, a memory that focuses especially on the "gist" of the event.

Negative Impacts of Dam Construction on Human Populations Can Be Reduced, Author Says

Despite the adverse impacts of large dam construction on ecosystems and human settlements, more and more dams are likely to be built in the 21st century wherever there is a need to store water for irrigated agriculture, urban water supplies, and power generation. But world societies and governments would do well to evaluate the consequences of dam construction as an integral part of the planning process, a leading authority writes in a new book.

Caltech Author's Take on Desperate Housewives, Family Fights, and Suburban Paranoia

What does Merrill Joan Gerber, a lecturer in creative writing at the California Institute of Technology, know about desperate housewives, family feuds, and the façades of middle-class suburbia?

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