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

PASADENA, Calif.—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.

In the current issue of Nature Neuroscience, California Institute of Technology neuroscientist Ralph Adolphs and his colleagues at the University of Iowa report on their examinations of a patient whose sense of taste has been severely compromised. The patient suffered from a herpes brain infection years ago that left him with brain damage. Today, the patient is unable to name even familiar foods by taste or by smell, and shows remarkably little preference in his choice of food and drink.

According to Adolphs, who is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Caltech, the subject is a 72-year-old man, known as "B," whose brain infection destroyed his amygdala, hippocampus, the nearby temporal cortices, and the insula, and damaged several other brain structures. As a result, the patient today has a memory span of about 40 seconds, somewhat similar to that of the character in the film Memento.

As a result of his extensive brain damage, B is unable to recognize familiar people and many objects, although his vision and his use of language are unaffected. In terms of taste, he fails to recognize any familiar food items, and could probably outdo even Elvis by wading into a banana and mayonnaise sandwich with gusto.

"Our likes and dislikes in taste stem from both innate and cultural causes," Adolphs explains. "You may like sushi or bitter melon or certain smelly cheeses, whereas other people turn away from these foods in distaste."

The research shows that it may be possible to like or dislike certain foods without being able to recognize them at all, and that different regions of the brain are responsible for these two processes.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers set up an experiment in which B, several other subjects with brain damage, and several normal subjects were all offered salty and sweet drinks. All the subjects drank the sweet drinks and said they enjoyed them, and all with the notable exception of B said they found the saline drink disgusting.

By contrast, B drank the saline solution with a pleased expression, saying it "tasted like pop." However, when he was asked to sip both a salty and a sweet drink and to continue drinking the one he preferred, he chose the sweet one and took a pass on the salty one.

The researchers concluded that B, like most people, has some fundamental preference for sweet drinks over salty ones-which goes far to explain why soft drinks have always been made with sugar rather than salt-even if he is unaware of the identity of either. In sum, it would seem that B has no preference for drinks unless he can compare them within the 40-second span of his memory.

What does this mean for us regular tasters? According to Adolphs, taste information "that is meaningless for an isolated individual stimulus can yield relative values when the taste is structured as a comparison." In other words, there's something in your brain that indeed has a preference for a sweet drink over a salty one, but there's something else in your brain that disgusts you when you're given a salty drink when you know you could've had a cola.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The paper's coauthors are Daniel Tranel, Michael Koenigs, and Antonio R. Damasio, all of the University of Iowa's Department of Neurology and Neuroscience.

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

PASADENA, Calif.--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.

The award will supplement Adolphs's ongoing work to understand the role of a brain structure, known as the amygdala, in certain disorders that make it difficult for sufferers to interpret other people's emotions. Adolphs is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Caltech and holds a joint appointment at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

According to Adolphs, the grant will lead to progress in understanding how the amygdala may be involved in autism, and also to possible ways for people with autism to improve their social functioning.

Earlier studies have shown that persons with autism have a hard time looking with sufficient attention at the faces of other people to read emotions. Yet, there is tantalizing evidence that the problem may not be entirely an inability to read facial expressions, but rather the lack of ability to focus attention on faces so that expressions can even be processed. Therefore, better knowledge of how people with autism look at faces could result in intervention strategies where they could be coached to focus their attention on facial expressions, even though they have no natural inclination to do so.

The pilot research award will be earmarked for a two-year period. Adolphs says that the first year of funding will involve a close study of how subjects view faces, followed in the second year with fMRI studies using Caltech's new scanners.

"If our hypotheses are supported, the implications might be dramatic for rehabilitation," Adolphs says. "In a sense, we could be helping people with autism to see the world socially by telling them specifically how to look at the world with their eye movements."

Founded in 1995, the Cure Autism Now foundation is an organization of parents, clinicians, and leading scientists committed to accelerating the pace of biomedical research in autism through research, education, and outreach.

Since its founding, the organization has committed over $23 million in research, the establishment of and ongoing support for the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, and numerous outreach and awareness activities aimed at families, physicians, governmental officials, and the general public.

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Robert Tindol
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Matthew O. Jackson Named Guggenheim Fellow

PASADENA, Calif.- 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.

Jackson's research focuses on modeling the collections of relationships between individuals, called social networks, in an attempt to understand phenomena as diverse as friendships, computer virus transmission, and employment trends. Through developing these models of social networks, Jackson hopes to understand how specific patterns of social relationships arise, how group behaviors can be predicted, and how relationships could be made more efficient inside a group. One application of interest to Jackson is modeling labor markets with respect to socio-economic background. He seeks to answer questions about how an individual's background influences employment and wage prospects. Social network models may also provide insights into possible policies to alleviate unemployment among specific socio-economic groups.

The Guggenheim Fellowship will help fund Jackson's research while he is on leave at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) in Palo Alto for the 2005-2006 academic year. While at CASBS, Jackson will examine the diffusion of information through social networks and how it affects behaviors, in particular voting behaviors.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted $240 million in fellowships to over 15, 500 individuals in the arts, humanities, and sciences, since 1925. Past Guggenheim fellows include Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.

### Written by: Michael Torrice, Media Relations Intern Contact: Jill Perry (626) 395-3226 jperry@caltech.edu Visit the Caltech Media Relations Web site at: http://pr.caltech.edu/media

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

PASADENA, Calif.--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.

But there's more. The research also suggests that we can actually trust each other a fair amount of time without getting betrayed, and can do so just because of the biological creatures we are.

In a new milestone for neuroscience, experimenters at the California Institute of Technology and the Baylor College of Medicine for the first time have simultaneously scanned interacting brains using a new technique called "hyperscanning" brain imaging to probe how trust builds as subjects learn about one another. This new technique allowed the team to see for the first time how interacting brains influence each other as subjects played an economic game and built trusting relationships. The research has implications for further understanding the evolution of the brain and social behavior, and could also lead to new insights into maladies such as autism and schizophrenia, in which a person's interaction with others is severely compromised.

Reporting in Friday's issue of the journal Science, the Caltech and Baylor researchers describe the results they obtained by hooking up volunteers to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines in Pasadena and Houston, respectively. One volunteer in one locale would interact with another volunteer he or she did not know, and the two would play an economic game in which trustworthiness had to be balanced with the profit motive. At the time the volunteers were playing the game, their brain activity was continually monitored to see what was going on with their neurons.

According to Steve Quartz, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Caltech, who led the Caltech effort and does much of his work on the social interactions of decision making by employing MRIs, the results show that trust involves a region of the brain known as the head of the caudate nucleus. As with all MRI images of the brain, the idea was to pick up evidence of a rush of blood to a specific part of the brain, which is taken to indicate evidence that the brain region is at that moment involved in mental activity.

The important finding, however, was not just that the caudate nucleus is involved, but that trust tended to shift backward in time as the game progressed. In other words, the expectation of a reward was intimately involved in an individual's assessment of trustworthiness in the other individual, and that the recipient tended to become more trusting prior to the reward coming--provided, of course, that there was no backstabbing.

Colin Camerer, the Axline Professor of Business Economics at Caltech and the other Caltech faculty author of the paper, adds that the study is also a breakthrough in showing that game theory continues to reward researchers who study human behavior.

"The theory about games such as the one we used in this study is developed around mathematics," Camerer says. "But a mathematical model of self-interest can be overly simplified. These results show that game theory can draw together the social and biological sciences for new and deeper understandings of human behavior. A better mathematical model will result."

The game is a multiround version of an economic exchange, in which one player (the "investor") is given $20 and told that he can either hold on to the money, or give some or all of it to the person on the other end of the game 1,500 miles away. The game is anonymous, and it is further assumed that the players will never meet each other, in order to keep other artifacts of social interaction from coming into play.

The person on the receiving end of the transaction (the "trustee") immediately has any gift that he receives tripled. The trustee can then give some or all of it back to the investor.

In ideal circumstances, the investor gives the entire $20 to the trustee, who then has his money tripled to $60 and then gives $30 back to the investor so that both have profited. That's assuming that greed hasn't made the trustee keep all the money for himself, of course, or that stinginess or lack of trust has persuaded the investor to keep the original investment all to himself. And this is the reason that trust is involved, and furthermore, the reason that there is brain activity during the course of the game for the experimenters to image.

The findings are that trust is delayed in the early rounds of the game (there are 10 in all), and that the players begin determining the costs and benefits of the interchange and soon begin anticipating the rewards before they are even bestowed. Before the game is finished, one player is showing brain activity in the head of the caudate nucleus that demonstrates he has an "intention to trust." Once the players know each other by reputation, they begin showing their intentions to trust about 14 seconds earlier than in the early rounds of the game.

The results are interesting on several levels, say Camerer and Quartz. For one, the results show the neuroscience of economic behavior.

"Neoclassical economics starts with the assumption that rational self-interest is the motivator of all our economic behavior," says Quartz. "The further assumption is that you can only get trust if you penalize people for non-cooperation, but these results show that you can build trust through social interaction, and question the traditional model of economic man."

"The results show that you can trust people for a fair amount of time, which contradicts the assumptions of classical economics," Camerer adds.

This is good news for us humans who must do business with each other, Quartz explains, because trustworthiness decreases the incidental costs. In other words, if we can trust people, then the costs of transactions are lower and simpler: there are fewer laws to encumber us, fewer lawyers to pay so as to ensure that all the documents pertaining to the deal are written in an airtight manner, and so on.

"It's the same as if you could have a business deal on a handshake," Quartz says. "You don't have to pay a bunch of lawyers to write up what you do at every step. Thus, trust is of great interest from the level of our everyday interactions all the way up to the economic prosperity of a country where trust is thought of in terms of social capital."

The research findings are also interesting in their similarity to classical conditioning experiments, in which a certain behavioral response is elicited through a reward. Just as a person is rewarded for trusting a trustworthy person--and begins trusting the person even earlier if the reward can honestly be expected--so, too, does a lab animal begin anticipating a food reward for pecking a mirror, tripping a switch, slobbering when a buzzer sounds, or running quickly through a maze.

"This is another striking demonstration of the brain re-using ancient centers for new purposes. That trust rides on top of the basic reward centers of the brain is something we had never anticipated and demonstrates how surprising brain imaging can be," Quartz notes.

And finally, the research could have implications for better understanding the neurology of individuals with severely compromised abilities to interact with other people, such as those afflicted with autism, borderline personality disorders, and schizophrenia. "The inability to predict others is a key facet of many mental disorders. These new results could help us better understand these conditions, and may ultimately guide new treatments," suggests Quartz.

The other authors of the article are Brooks King-Casas, Damon Tomlin and P. Read Montague (the lead author), all of the Baylor College of Medicine, and Cedric Anen of Caltech. The title of the paper is "Getting to Know You: Reputation and Trust in a Two-Person Economic Exchange."

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

PASADENA, Calif.--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.

In other words, people who remember the words "President Kennedy is dead" will remember the news extraordinarily well. But at the same time, they will likely have no more recollection of extraneous details such as what they were wearing or what they were doing an hour before hearing the news than they would for any other day in 1963. Neurobiologists have known both these phenomena to be true for some time, and a new study now explains how the brain achieves this effect.

In the new study, researchers from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa College of Medicine show how the recollections of gist and details of emotional events are related to specific parts of the brain. In an article appearing in this month's Nature Neuroscience, the authors report that patients with damage to an area of the brain known as the amygdala are unable to remember the gist of an emotional stimulus, even though there is nothing otherwise faulty in their memory. The study shows that the amygdala somehow focuses the brain's processing resources on the gist of an emotional event.

"During a highly emotional event, like the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, or the Challenger accident, you remember the gist much better than you would remember the gist of some other neutral event," says Ralph Adolphs, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Caltech and lead author of the study. "But people with damage to the amygdala have a failure to put this special tag on the gist of emotional memories. In other words, they remember the gist of an emotional event no better than the gist of a neutral event."

To test their hypothesis, Adolphs and his colleagues at the University of Iowa College of Medicine showed a group of normal control subjects and a group of test subjects known to have amygdala damage a series of pictures accompanied by fabricated stories. One type of series involved fairly mundane episodes in which, for example, a family was depicted driving somewhere and returning home uneventfully. But in the other series, the story would relate a tragic event, such as the family having been involved in a fatal auto accident on the way home, accompanied with gruesome pictures of amputated limbs.

As expected, the normal control subjects had enhanced recall of the emotional stories and pictures, and far more vague recall of the mundane stories. The test subjects with amygdala damage, however, possessed no better recall of the gist of the emotional story than of the mundane stories. On the other hand, both the control group and the group with amygdala damage showed about equal ability to remember details from stories with no emotional content.

The findings suggest that the amygdala is responsible for our ability to have strong recollections of emotional events, Adolphs says. Further study could point to how the amygdala is involved in impaired real-life emotional memories seen in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer's disease, he adds.

The other authors of the article are Daniel Tranel and Tony W. Buchanan, both of the University of Iowa College of Medicine's Department of Neurology.

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

PASADENA, Calif.--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.

The book, The Future of Large Dams, is the latest work by California Institute of Technology anthropologist Thayer Scudder, who is arguably the world's foremost expert on the impact of dam construction on human societies living along major world rivers. Published by Earthscan, the book argues that the early analysis by affected stakeholders of the impact of a dam's proposed construction is a worthwhile undertaking. And not only is it worthwhile, but also is quite possible to accomplish with established research techniques.

According to Scudder, large dams are a "flawed yet still necessary development option." Flaws include both the shortcomings of the dam itself as well as ecological and social impacts. In terms of the former, Scudder says that dams, on the average, can be expected to get clogged with sediment at a rate of about 0.5 to 1 percent per year. And in terms of the latter, changing habitat caused by the flooding of land behind and below dams is certain to change the habits of nearby humans and animals alike--if not devastate both.

"Although dams have their problems, they're unfortunately still necessary because of the growing needs of humans for water storage," says Scudder. "That's the dilemma."

Given that governments throughout the world-- the United States included--will continue to dam rivers, Scudder says it's important to take into consideration that hundreds of millions of people have been adversely affected by dams in the last century. Somewhere between 40 and 80 million people have been forcibly relocated by the flooding of the land on which they live to create the reservoirs above the dams. Furthermore, even larger numbers of people have had their lives and livelihoods disrupted by the change of the river flow below dams.

"Lots of people in many places in the world are dependent on the natural flow of rivers, and the consequences can be the sort of things you might not normally even take into account," he says. "For example, a settlement that depends on an annual flooding of agricultural land when the river rises can be wiped out if the regulated flow of the dam causes the annual flooding to cease."

Scudder, in fact, wrote his doctoral dissertation many years ago on such an instance, in which the construction of a dam obliterated the most productive component of an upstream farming system.

"But the book argues that, despite these adverse impacts, there are state-of-the-art ways of addressing them," he says. "For example, if local populations downstream have been depending on an annual inundation of an agricultural flood plain, then the authorities in charge and other stakeholders should consider a controlled release of water that recreates the flooding conditions. Experiments have been done with coordinating hydropower generation and flood recession irrigation needs with the release of 'environmental flows'--that is, releases of water to protect habitats and communities. This approach has been tried in several African countries, and research has shown in other cases that managed floods would be a 'win-win' option."

In general, the way to make dams work for humans everywhere, Scudder suggests, is to address the social and environmental impacts both downstream and upstream of any dam project before the structure is even built, and to evaluate the situations in river basins where dams have already been constructed.

Finally, the political and institutional consideration of dam construction should be addressed, Scudder says. Too often, a dam project is undertaken at a specific locale because of its political expedience, and this is not the best way to minimize the negative human and ecological impact. Restructuring governmental departments that oversee dams can also maximize negative environmental, agricultural, or other impacts.

"We should all be able to benefit from the dams that are to be built in the future rather than suffer from them," he concludes.

Review copies of the book are available from Earthscan Sales and Marketing Administrator Michael Fell by e-mailing him at Michael.Fell@earthscan.co.uk or calling +44 (0)20 7121 3154.

 

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

PASADENA, Calif.-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?

Well, Gerber comments on these issues and more in her newest book, This is a Voice from Your Past: New and Selected Stories.

Gerber's compilation of short stories exposes fascinating characters and their situations in seemingly serene Southern Californian suburbia, where what's hiding beneath the façade of normal middle-class life is revealed through stories of family fights and triumphs, vulnerable women, and paranoid housewives.

The New York Times Book Review said, "Gerber's supple prose takes us right inside her character's minds, sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, always absorbing and believeable." The book, available in bookstores this month, is published by Ontario Review Press.

Gerber has taught at Caltech since 1989. She is the author of 25 books, seven of which are novels. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Mademoiselle, and Redbook, winning her numerous awards, including the O. Henry Award in 1986.

Gerber's other books include Anna in the Afterlife, one of the Los Angeles Times "Best Books of 2002"; the travel memoir Botticelli Blue Skies: An American in Florence; King of the World, winner of the Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award; and The Kingdom of Brooklyn, winner of the Hadassah Magazine's Ribalow Prize.

Gerber lives in Sierra Madre with her husband, a retired professor from Pasadena City College.

The author will read from and discuss This is a Voice from Your Past: New and Selected Stories on Friday, February 4, at the Huntington Library, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, at 2:30 p.m. in the Overseers' Room, free of charge, and Wednesday, February 23, at Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, at 7 p.m., free of charge.

The author can be reached at mjgerber@caltech.edu or visit her website at www.its.caltech.edu/~mjgerber.

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Contact: Saskia Pickles (626) 395-3227 debwms@caltech.edu

Visit the Caltech Media Relations Web site at: http://pr.caltech.edu/media

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Neuroscientists discover that humans evaluate emotions by looking at the eyes

PASADENA, Calif.--If your mother ever told you to watch out for strangers with shifty eyes, you can start taking her advice to heart. Neuroscientists exploring a region of the brain associated with the recognition of emotional expressions have concluded that it is the eye region that we scan when our brains process information about other people's emotions.

Reporting in the January 6 issue of the journal Nature, California Institute of Technology neuroscientist Ralph Adolphs and colleagues at the University of Iowa, University of Montreal, and University of Glasgow describe new results they have obtained with a patient suffering from a rare genetic malady that has destroyed her brain's amygdala. The amygdala are found in each side of the brain in the medial temporal lobe and are known to process information about facial emotions. The patient, who has been studied by the researchers at the University of Iowa for a decade, shows an intriguing inability to recognize fear and other emotions from facial expressions.

"The fact that the amygdala is involved in fear recognition has been borne out by a large number of studies," explains Adolphs. "But until now the mechanisms through which amygdala damage compromises fear recognition have not been identified."

Although Adolphs and his colleagues have known for years that the woman is unable to recognize fear from facial expressions in others, they didn't know until recently that her problem was an inability to focus on the eye region of others when judging their emotions. They discovered this by carefully recording the way her eyes focused on pictures of faces.

In normal test subjects, a person's eyes dart from area to area of a face in a quick, largely unconscious program of evaluating facial expressions to recognize emotions. The woman, by contrast, tended to stare straight ahead at the photographs, displaying no tendency to regard the eyes at all. As a result, she was nonjudgmental in her interpersonal dealings, often trusting even those individuals who didn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.

However, the good news is that the woman could be trained to look at the eyes in the photographs, even though she had no natural inclination to do so. When she deliberately looked at the eyes upon being instructed to do so, she had a normal ability to recognize fear in the faces.

According to Adolphs, the study is a step forward in better understanding the human brain's perceptual mechanisms, and also a practical key in possible therapies to help certain patients with defective emotional perception lead more normal lives.

In terms of the former, Adolphs says that the amygdala's role in fear recognition will probably be better understood with additional research such as that now going on in Caltech's new magnetic resonance imaging lab. "It would be naïve to ascribe these findings to one single brain structure," he says. "Many parts of the brain work together, so a more accurate picture will probably relate cognitive abilities to a network of brain structures.

"Therefore, the things the amygdala do together with other parts of the brain are going to be a complex matter that will take a long time to figure out."

However, the very fact that the woman could be trained to evaluate fear in other people's faces is encouraging news for individuals with autism and other maladies that cause problems in their recognizing other people's emotions, Adolphs says.

"Maybe people with autism could be helped if they were trained how to look at the world and how to look at people's faces to improve their social functioning," he says.

Adolphs is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Caltech, and holds a joint appointment at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The other authors of the paper are Frederic Gosselin, Tony Buchanan, Daniel Tranel, Philippe Schyns, and Antonio Damasio.

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Robert Tindol
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Einstein: Release of Volume 9, The Berlin Years

PASADENA, Calif. - Early in the 20th century, scientists were grappling with a controversial and complex new theory from Albert Einstein: defying Newton's Principia that stated space was fixed and time was absolute, inexorably ticking away, Einstein's general theory of relativity held that matter actually changes the shape of a combined space-time. Further, that curved space-time tells matter how to move. Not only was his theory conceptually perplexing, at the time the observable consequences of it were few and minute.

In 1919 British astrophysicist Arthur Stanley Eddington took advantage of a natural phenomenon, a solar eclipse, to test Einstein's theory. The eclipse would allow him to observe the way the mass of the sun bent the path of light traveling from distant stars. Eddington led an expedition to the island of Principe, off the Atlantic coast of Africa, to observe the eclipse. If Einstein was right, the thinking went, the light would be bent twice as far as conventional Newtonian physics would allow.

While they were gone, Einstein waited anxiously in Berlin. Finally, months later in November 1919, Eddington announced that Einstein was indeed right, instantly making him the first science celebrity of our age.

Set in the turbulent post-World War I period, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 9, The Berlin Years: Correspondence, January 1919-April 1920, is the latest publication issued by the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology.

The present volume shows that Einstein was involved in numerous other issues, both personal and professional, during this period of his life. Piqued by early suggestions of a unified field theory, says Caltech's Tilman Sauer, one of five editors who worked on Volume 9, Einstein also pondered how to unify gravitation and electromagnetic field theory, and worked to resolve contradictions between the new quantum physics and relativity. "He also had many open-minded exchanges with colleagues," says Sauer, "that may challenge his later image as the stubborn critic of quantum mechanics."

The book also shows the nonscience side of Einstein, he says. "He was deeply engaged in discussing social and political issues, he participated in humanitarian efforts, and he intervened on behalf of intellectuals condemned to death after the fall of the Bavarian Soviet Republic," says Sauer. He also faced anti-Semitic outbursts, reflected increasingly on his own identity as a Jew, and assisted in efforts toward the establishment of the Hebrew University. As an internationalist opponent of war, and a German-speaking Swiss citizen whose renown was sealed by the Englishman Eddington's confirmation of relativity, Einstein mitigated postwar hostility toward German scholars.

Correspondence with family and friends documents his divorce, remarriage to his cousin, and his closeness to his two sons. Evidence in newly uncovered material shows there were efforts to lure Einstein back to Switzerland and also to the Netherlands. However, Einstein, entertaining high hopes for the young Weimar Republic, remained in Berlin. This volume reveals new facets of Einstein as he constructively participated in German and European scientific, academic, and cultural life.

Volume 9 is the second volume that the Einstein Papers Project has put out since it came to Caltech three years ago; some 20 more volumes are in preparation. The project has been described as the most ambitious publishing venture in the history of 20th-century science.

The overall project requires research into more than 60,000 documents, including correspondence, scientific writings, speeches on science and social issues, notebooks, diagrams, photos, as well as various contemporary materials and letters about Einstein penned by family members, colleagues, and the press. The collection of photocopies is housed in seven large, fireproof filing cabinets, each the weight of a baby grand piano. (Most of the originals are located at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the beneficiary of Einstein's literary estate.)

The editors are already working on Volume 10, which will be another volume of correspondence that will enrich the image of Einstein the scientist, philosopher, but also humanist, colleague, friend, husband, and father.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark Wheeler (626) 395-8733 wheel@caltech.edu

More on the Einstein Project: www.einstein.caltech.edu, and www.alberteinstein.info

Visit the Caltech media relations web site: http://pr.caltech.edu/media

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Media Can Call to Discuss Election: What Worked, What Didn't

PASADENA, Calif.— Researchers from the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project are available to discuss how voting technology performed on election day and other election-related issues, via conference call with the news media, Nov. 3 at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m EST.

This team of computer scientists and political scientists from two of the nation's most prestigious universities has been at work since the 2000 election evaluating the state of the American voting system. Their research has focused on all aspects of the election process, and includes the groundbreaking study "What Is; What Could Be" (July 2001), which found that 4 to 6 million votes were lost in the 2000 presidential election. The Voting Technology Project web site is at http://www.vote.caltech.edu/

WHO: Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project co-directors Michael Alvarez at Caltech and Ted Selker at MIT; Caltech professors of political science Jonathan Katz and Rod Kiewiet; Shuki Bruck, the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Computation and Neural Systems and Electrical Engineering at Caltech; Steve Ansolobehere, professor of political science at MIT; and Charles Stewart, professor of political science and associate dean of humanities, arts, and social sciences at MIT.

WHAT: Media availability with informal Q&A. There is no set agenda; you may address questions to a particular individual or to the group at large.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 3, 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST, one hour (call anytime)

NUMBER TO CALL: Call toll-free (877) 322-9648, punch in code 576979

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