SciAm Mind Calendar: February/March 2008


2 The Exploratorium science museum presents a discussion of art, emotion and the mindfgbk—the third in a series of five Saturday afternoon mind-themed lectures. Also, visit an exclusive exhibit of renowned psychologist Paul Ekman’s photographs, featuring a study of the facial expressions of the isolated South Fore people in New Guinea. The exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of his influential work, which led to a new understanding of the universal nature of facial expressions and emotions.

San Francisco

7–9 What makes us who we are? Find out from researchers who study emotion, judgment, relationships and self-identity at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Albuquerque, N.M.

14 This Valentine’s Day cuddle up with that special someone and contemplate the odors on which your love is based. No, really. For decades scientists suspected that the sense of smell (that is, airborne chemical detection) probably plays an important role in human sexual attraction, just as it does in other mammals. But despite the claims displayed on the countless bottled “pheromones” on the market, scientists had no luck proving the existence of a chemical that could influence desire. Finally, a year ago this month, researchers found evidence that androstadienone, a component of male armpit sweat, increases arousal in women who smell it. And you thought romance was dead....

26 Neuroscientist Donald W. Pfaff of the Rockefeller University discusses his new book, The Neuroscience of Fair Play (Dana/University of Chicago Press, 2007), in which he draws on decades of his research to formulate a theory about what exactly happens in the brain when we follow the Golden Rule. Learn more about Pfaff’s book in “Do unto Others,” by Kurt Kleiner [Reviews], in Scientific American Mind, December 2007/January 2008.

New York City

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