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The brain can't ignore angry voices

The brain can't ignore angry voices (source: Nature Neuroscience)

We're highly tuned to emotional signals. So whereas most of the information bombarding our brain is filtered, emotion-related signals seem to strike home regardless. Take fearful faces - research has shown these trigger the same activity in a fear-sensitive brain region, the amygdala, regardless of whether we're paying attention to them. This is in contrast to how the brain normally works. For example, a face will trigger a different amount of activity in the brain's fusiform gyri - a kind of face-processing module - depending on whether that face is being attended to. Didier Grandjean and colleagues at the University of Geneva wanted to find out whether the brain treats emotional sounds with the same priority as emotional sights.

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Grandjean, D., Sander, D., Pourtois, G., Schwartz, S., Seghier, M.L., Scherer, K.R. & Vuilleumier, P. (2005). The voices of wrath: brain responses to angry prosody in meaningless speech. Nature Neuroscience, 8, 145-146.

Journal weblink: http://www.nature.com/neuro


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Researched and written by Dobash and Dobash. An interdisciplinary focus on issues that affect community and state responses to domestic violence, includes: individual accounts, and incorporates themes related to authority, sexual proprietariness, asymmetry of violence, socialization, patterns and deviations of victims and offenders, and social and cultural contexts. Classic domestic violence research:

To order in the US: Rethinking Violence against Women (SAGE Series on Violence against Women)

To order in the UK: Rethinking Violence against Women (SAGE Series on Violence against Women)

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Full of practical advice from someone with extensive experience in the field of domestic violence, this is strongly recommended for all collections. discusses the indicators of an abusive relationship; its effects on children and teens; substance abuse; how the workplace, medical, and religious communities can help; treatment programs for batterers; antiburnout tips for helpers; and advice on living underground. Frequently used as basic coursebook:

To order in the US: When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse

To order in the UK: WHEN VIOLENCE BEGINS AT HOME Fully Revised Second Edition: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse

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