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Animals such as rats and goldfish maximize. The “house” in Las Vegas maximizes. Humans, on the other hand, match. The result is that nonhuman animals perform better than humans in this task. Use of this suboptimal strategy by people has been attributed to a propensity to try to find patterns in sequences of events even when they are told that the sequences are random. At Dartmouth College, psychologists George Wolford, Michael Miller and I tested the two hemispheres of split-brain patients to see if the different sides used the same or different strategies.

The lack of receptors weakened the ability of corticosterone to calm the hypothalamus after a stressful event, exaggerating the stress response and making for overly stressed and anxious rodents. On the oth- J u n e /J ul y 2 0 0 8 ta r a m o o r e G e t t y I m a g e s ( Certain parenting practices that profoundly shape a child’s mental health may do so by altering DNA. er hand, the nurturing behavior of the high-licking and high-grooming mothers kept their pups’ corticosterone receptor gene relatively clear of methyl groups, and these pups were thus better able to handle stress as adults.

20 08 SCIENTIFIC AMERIC AN, INC. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND 35 hemisphere is seriously impoverished in cognitive tasks. Although the right hemisphere remains superior to the isolated left hemisphere for some perceptual and attentional skills, and perhaps also emotions, it is poor at problem solving and many other mental activities. The difference between the two hemispheres in problem solving is captured in a probabilityguessing experiment. We have subjects try to guess which of two events will happen next: Will it be a red light or a green light?

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[Magazine] Scientific American Mind. Vol. 19. No 3


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