Dan the baboon sits in front of a computer screen. The letters BRRU pop up. With a quick and almost dismissive tap, the monkey signals it’s not a word. Correct. Next comes, ITCS. Again, not a word. Finally KITE comes up.
This undated handout photo provided by of Joel Fagot, and the journal Science shows Dora during a readng experiment. French researchers are showing that baboons can do what is essentially the first step in reading. They can identify recurring patterns in English. This study is important in two fields: it shows that the early steps in reading are far more instinctual than scientists first thought and it also demonstrates that non-human primates may be smarter than we give them credit for. Baboons and other monkeys are good pattern finders and it’s more than memorization. What they are doing may be what we first do in recognizing words. But it’s still a far cry from real reading. The study is in the journal Science. Image: AP Photo/Joel Fagot
It turns out that the milk of human kindness is evoked by something besides mom’s good example.
Research by psychologists at the Univ. at Buffalo and the Univ. of California, Irvine, has found that at least part of the reason some people are kind and generous is because their genes nudge them toward it.
Michel Poulin, assistant professor of psychology at UB, is the principal author of the study “The Neurogenics of Niceness,” published in this month in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
The study, co-authored by Anneke Buffone of UB and E. Alison Holman of the Univ. of California, Irvine, looked at the behavior of study subjects who have versions of receptor genes for two hormones that, in laboratory and close relationship research, are associated with niceness. Previous laboratory studies have linked the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin to the way we treat one another, Poulin says.
Oxford and Cambridge have now decided to remove the words CAN’T and IMPOSSIBLE from their dictionary. Jessica Cox, 25, a girl born without arms, stands inside an aircraft. The girl from Tucson , Arizona got the Sport Pilot certificate lately and became the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet. Jessica Cox of Tucson was born without arms, but that has only stopped her from doing one thing: using the word “can’t.”
Her latest flight into the seemingly impossible is becoming the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet.
With one foot manning the controls and the other delicately guiding the steering column, Cox, 25, soared to achieve a Sport Pilot certificate Her certificate qualifies her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.