Saturday, April 17, 2010

THE BIOLOGY OF SOCIAL FEAR: Article in Nature suggesting that children with Williams syndrome do not form racial stereotypes, yet they form gender stereotypes. Via Radley Balko. Interesting stuff, that I wish people would not dismiss out of hand because it doesn't match up with their ideas of how racism happens. It doesn't prove anything either, of course, at this stage--Williams sufferers have a lot of things different from the baseline, not just the lack of fear.

Idly this paragraph from the NYT article above amused me:

Williams syndrome was first identified in 1961 by Dr. J. C. P. Williams of New Zealand. Williams, a cardiologist at Greenlane Hospital in Auckland, noticed that a number of the hospital’s young cardiac patients were small in stature, had elfin facial features and seemed friendly but in some ways were mentally slow. His published delineation of this syndrome put Dr. Williams on the map — off which he promptly and mysteriously fell. Twice offered a position at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., he twice failed to show, disappearing the second time, in the late ’60s, from London, his last known location, with the only trace an unclaimed suitcase later found in a luggage office.

Also idly I wonder why Abin Sur's ring didn't find a person with Williams.

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