Research involving a group of male students found that their levels of the hormone testosterone increased to the same extent whether they were talking to a young woman they found attractive – or to one they didn't fancy much at all.
After 300 seconds alone in the same room as a woman they had never met before, and in some cases did not find particularly attractive, the men's testosterone levels of the hormone had shot up by an average of around eight per cent.
Some parents of autistic children evaluate facial expressions in a strikingly similar way to people with the disorder, even though they would not be classified as autistic themselves.
The finding strengthens the link between genetics and autism, and may help pinpoint the genes responsible for some of the behavioural traits associated it.
A group of geologists has now pieced together what happened. In May 2005, they say, a torrent of sulphurous liquid and mist gushed from the volcano's icy crater, leaving a trail of sulphur deposits and turning salmon spawning-grounds as acidic as lemon juice.
"We haven't seen an event like this in the historical record," says Johan Varekamp of the Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, who reviewed the group's work.
But the success of Prozac hasn't simply transformed the treatment of depression: it has also transformed the science of depression. For decades, researchers struggled to identify the underlying cause of depression, and patients were forced to endure a series of ineffective treatments. But then came Prozac. Like many other antidepressants, Prozac increases the brain's supply of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. The drug's effectiveness inspired an elegant theory, known as the chemical hypothesis: Sadness is simply a lack of chemical happiness. The little blue pills cheer us up because they give the brain what it has been missing.
There's only one problem with this theory of depression: it's almost certainly wrong, or at the very least woefully incomplete. Experiments have since shown that lowering people's serotonin levels does not make them depressed, nor does it does not make them depressed, nor does it worsen their symptoms if they are already depressed.
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