Thinking Meat roundup

While I’ve been busy editing and writing and getting the yard ready for next spring, a number of good Thinking-Meat type stories have appeared in the media. So without further ado, here’s a selection of links to articles for your weekend reading pleasure.

Slate examines the moral and social dimensions of the evolutionary psychology behind why people get huffy, with the obligatory tie-in to the presidential campaign.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, a neuroscientist and a science writer note some of the ways our brains mislead us, describing several studies that illustrate how the line between misinformation and truth becomes blurred in the brain (again with a campaign tie-in).

Scientific American has published this article by Carl Zimmer about the search for links between genes and intelligence. (Note: Lest you think you’re going crazy, I’ll reassure you now by telling you that yes, the even-numbered pages do seem to be duplicates of their respective preceding odd-numbered pages. I don’t know why, but it’s free current content from Scientific American, so I won’t complain.)

Zimmer is evidently a busy man; here’s another article from him in Discover Magazine about the emotional importance of human facial expressions.

This next article, from the Telegraph, is about a month old, but somehow it slipped past my radar at the time. It describes experiments in which crows outperformed great apes in transferring a learned skill from one situation to another.

And finally, something a bit more speculative but certainly intriguing, another article from the Telegraph discusses some new research into whether television and movies affect whether we dream in color. There’s some evidence that people who grew up with black-and-white media may be more inclined to dream in black and white than those who grew up with color TV and movies.