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NYU Press, 2004. © 20 08 SCIENTIFIC AMERIC AN, INC. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND 51 V I C T O R D E S C H WA N B E R G S P L / P h o t o R e s e a r c h e r s , I n c . 52 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND © 20 08 SCIENTIFIC AMERIC AN, INC. Fe b r u a r y/ M a r c h 2 0 0 8 Researchers have found a gene that influences our ability to cope with stress and to bounce back from the misfortunes of life THECHARACTERCODE By Turhan Canli ou are diagnosed with a crippling illness. You lose your job. Someone close to you suddenly dies.

20 08 SCIENTIFIC AMERIC AN, INC. Fe b r u a r y/ M a r c h 2 0 0 8 JOHN LUND Getty Images No magazines? Time spent in waiting rooms and in line can seem endless, unless the mind has something engaging to focus on. Poeppel draws his conclusion from observations such as the following example: try to speak a series of meaningless syllables such as “ba kyoo ba kyoo ba kyoo” as fast as possible. After even a short time, the sounds will fuse into units. At some point, they will automatically remind you either of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, or Cuba.

52 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND © 20 08 SCIENTIFIC AMERIC AN, INC. Fe b r u a r y/ M a r c h 2 0 0 8 Researchers have found a gene that influences our ability to cope with stress and to bounce back from the misfortunes of life THECHARACTERCODE By Turhan Canli ou are diagnosed with a crippling illness. You lose your job. Someone close to you suddenly dies. Some people recover rapidly from life’s calamities and disappointments, whereas others are devastated by minor setbacks, becoming depressed and even suicidal.

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[Magazine] Scientific American Mind. Vol. 19. No 1


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