Fortune Favors the Bold and Anxious — in baboon learning in this one study, at least.

At her Zoologic blog, over at my old haunts at Wired Science Blogs, Mary Bates looks at an absolutely fascinating study of how temperament is linked to certain behavior. In this case, researchers measured two independent traits in baboons, boldness/shyness and (separately) anxiety/calmness — and found that in new situations, baboons who were both bold and […]

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The Social Life of Genes

Today I was on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show talking about “The Social Life of Genes,” a feature I wrote that will appear appeared in Pacific Standard’s Sept/Oct issue.   Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your social world. Your neighbors, your friends, your family: They don’t just get under your […]

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Is Sensitivity a Curse or a Blessing? My Latest on The Orchid-Dandelion Hypothesis

As faithful readers know, I’m working on a book, provisionally titled The Orchid and the Dandelion and likely to be published next year, about the orchid-dandelion hypothesis: the notion that genes and traits that underlie some of humans’ biggest weaknesses — despair, madness, savage aggression — also underlie some of our greatest strengths —  resilience, lasting happiness, […]

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For Great Apes, Addressing Inequality is Child’s Play

Having reciprocated the attack the young bonobo I had come to know as Aaron then calmly moved away, leaving Jumanji to rub his shoulder and stare at the ground in a way that, should he have been human, would probably be interpreted as nursing a bruised ego.

…Responding to inequities: gorillas try to maintain their competitive advantage during play fights Biology Letters DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0482 __ Related at Neuron Culture: Chimpanzee hunting tactics – an aerial view The Science of Gossip, in Scientific American Williams Syndrome, or why are we so social?

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