Eyespy: December 2010
Morality booster—Depressed patients may benefit from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in more ways than one. Researchers have found that besides having an antidepressant effect SSRI treatment seems to improve moral judgment (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010;107:17433-8). In a double blind randomised controlled trial a group of healthy volunteers were given the SSRI citalopram, a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), or a placebo. Subjects were given a set of moral dilemmas pitting utilitarian outcomes against harmful actions. Those taking citalopram were significantly more likely to judge emotionally salient harmful actions as forbidden than the SNRI (P=0.048) or placebo group (P=0.001). Researchers think that serotonin alters moral judgment and behaviour by increasing people’s aversion to harming others.
Sounds tasty—Could food served on aeroplanes taste bland because of the noise of other passengers? Researchers have shown that our experience of eating is influenced not only by sight and smell, but also