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04/16/2008

Locating a "Free Choice" Brain Circuit

elisabeth nadin
Your brain gets a better workout when you change your routine, say scientists at the California Institute of Technology who have pinpointed one particular circuit that activates your ability to execute a decision. This finding may help drive research in neural prosthetics and in how unhealthy decisions are made.
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02/25/2008

Sixth Annual Caltech Science Writing Symposium

Deborah Williams-Hedges
California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Usha Lee McFarling will be the featured speakers at the sixth annual Caltech Science Writing Symposium. The topic of their conversation will be the importance and challenges of communicating science to the general public.
01/14/2008

Wine Study Shows Price Influences Perception

Kathy Svitil
A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but slap on a hefty price tag, and our opinion of it might go through the roof. At least that's the case with the taste of wine, say scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University.
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12/03/2007

Attractiveness Is Its Own Reward

Kathy Svitil
Studies of the snap judgments we often make about people are shedding new light not only on social behavior, but also on drug abuse, gambling addiction, and other disorders in which our ability to make decisions is impaired, say scientists at the California Institute of Technology.
03/21/2007

Certain Types of Brain Damage Can Improve Utilitarian Moral Judgments, Research Shows

Robert Tindol
Quick response! What's the best thing to do on a lifeboat with one too many people on board? Should one throw a mortally injured person overboard to ensure definite survival for everyone else, or refuse to act and ensure certain death for all individuals in the boat?
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12/04/2006

Watson Lecture: European Conquest

John Avery
How did the West conquer the world? The secret, says California Institute of Technology economic historian Philip T. Hoffman: technological innovation.
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07/10/2006

Caltech and Princeton University Press Release Tenth Volume of the Einstein Papers

Robert Tindol
In the latter half of 1920, Albert Einstein faced a series of increasingly acrimonious public attacks against his recently confirmed theory of general relativity. He considered leaving Berlin, which would have deprived Germany of its most famous scientist. Colleagues, friends, and unknown admirers offered support, while Einstein worried about the care of his two sons and ex-wife in Switzerland, and his new family in Berlin.
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06/06/2006

Caltech Lecturer Receives Guggenheim Award

Deborah Williams-Hedges
Judith Hall, a lecturer in creative writing at the California Institute of Technology, is the recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has announced. Hall joins 186 other scholars, scientists, and artists this year in receiving the prestigious honor, now in its 81st year. The Guggenheim Fellowships total $7,500,000 for 2006.
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05/01/2006

Watson Lecture: Puzzling Prices

Kathy Svitil
Ever wonder why gas prices can vary by 15¢ --or more-- over a two-mile drive, or why an airline will change the cost of fares 500,000 times per day? Curious about what determines prices in the first place?
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03/09/2006

Caltech Philosopher Wins Lakatos Award

Robert Tindol
Those who think that philosophy is about a bunch of dead guys with names like Plato and Kant and Hume will be surprised to learn that the philosophy of science is active and vibrant these days. What's more, some of the work currently being done in the field is as relevant to our daily concerns as the question of whether a certain new cancer drug is being tested properly in clinical trials.
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