AADT's Session Wrap-Up
> 8/20/2007 10:29:13 AM

Last week, we waded into the controversial discourses surrounding addiction, the mental health costs of war, and the effectiveness of educational DVDs. We spent so much time watching Baby Einstein videos though that we left out a few stories on addiction and education that are worth noting. Take a look.

Addicted to Neurobiology and Politics- The Mind Hacks blog discusses the special segment All in the Mind by ABC Radio National. All in the Mind covered the complex debate over whether addiction is a disease or a psychological problem. Mind Hacks takes the stance that the division is so blurry as to be useful not for scientists but for politicians. The label "disease" is useful for determining who can be blamed.

Scientist Searches for Anti-Alcohol Drug- Wired interviewed an Idaho State University professor, Fred Risinger, about the search for a medication that can cure addiction. He admits that it is a difficult problem but draws optimism from the fact that some drugs, for example Prozac, have been shown to dampen the desire to drink. Risinger's current research involves making alcohol available to mice whenever they push a lever. Don't worry, he doesn't let them drink and maze.

The Impulsive Buy- A study in the Journal of Consumer Research indicates that the difference between impulsive and prudent people is the way that they suffer from guilt. Experimenters left subjects alone with a tempting platter of cookies, and then watched how many they ate. They were later periodically surveyed to see how guilty they felt about their gluttonous grab. Those with prudent personalities felt guilty for twice as long. This may show that those without a sufficiently strong internal punishment mechanism are less able to control their actions because their short term enjoyment is not properly balanced against the negative feelings they will later experience.

Creator of Baby Einstein Backs the Videos- The Associated Press presents the side of the mother who made the Baby Einstein videos, who insists that she made them to make children happier not smarter. She says that she just wanted to expose children to beautiful things.� As we discussed last week, Disney took her product and made claims that it could not back up with research. Their backpedaling claim that the company was named after Einstein, our country's most recognized symbol of scientific genius, because he "embodied a love of the arts, simple curiosity, and a passion for discovery" is disingenuous.

Heavy Drinking Raises Risk of Stroke- With China facing rising alcoholism rates, researchers completed an urgently needed study of over 60,000 citizens to assess the health risks. Researchers found that the heaviest drinkers were 22 percent more likely to have a stroke. Hopefully this finding will� raise public awareness of the health costs of excessive drinking.

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