Phi Kappa Phi Forum

The quarterly journal of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Each issue treats a single theme and field, providing a forum for discussion of social and scientific issues in a variety of fields of interest. Authors include scholars, experts from the privat

Articles from Vol. 85, No. 1, Spring

2005: The Year of Languages
When most of my students hear how many languages my friend Maria speaks, they are amazed. Born of Greek parents and raised in Germany, she speaks both Greek and German fluently, as well as Spanish and English. Maria's language abilities are matched...
A Note from the Editor
IN THIS ISSUE A few years ago, my wife and I were watching a television program on perception. During the program, a video was shown involving two groups of people tossing and bouncing a ball. The object, intoned the announcer, was for you to watch...
Brooklyn Boy: Just Looking for a Home
The French philosopher Louis Althusser (1918-1990) theorized about the way in which individuals are shaped by cultural forces. He originated the notion of "hailing" to describe the way that each of us is called into our culture. Althusser used an example...
Capacity Limits of Information Processing in the Brain
The human brain is heralded for its staggering complexity and processing capacity. Its hundred-billion neurons and several-hundred-trillion synaptic connections can process and exchange large amounts of information over a distributed network of brain...
Does Stress Damage the Brain?
Scientists have long recognized that stress can have long-term effects on the brain and on physiology. Often the scientists themselves did not think about the possible implications for the effects of stress on humans. However, recent research has shown...
Funding Foundation Programs
The Phi Kappa Phi Foundation endowment fund was established in 1972 to help finance the numerous awards, fellowships, and grants that the Society gives its members. Annual contributions to the Foundation account are added to the fund's principal, and...
If You Can't Beat Them
America has a love/hate relationship with Wal-Mart. Its customers love the low prices, and its competitors hate them. Investors admire Wal-Mart's efficient distribution system and low-cost operation, while labor groups protest it's low wages and promotion...
National President of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
In July 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) issued a report that measured an important aspect of the intellectual life of the American public. The report, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, documents a decline in...
Neuroinformatics
INTRODUCTION The key level of analysis of the brain is the neuron--a cell specialized to respond to complex patterns of activity from receptors (the body's sensors) or other neurons both to change its state (this provides the key to memory) and...
Outstanding Chapter Growth in the Past Triennium
Not since the early nineties has The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi experienced such a large increase in the number of chapters. During the 2001-2004 triennium, eleven chapters were installed, bringing the total number of chapters to 294. In early...
Phi Kappa Phi Enhances Profile and Member Benefits
As the oldest all-discipline honor society in the United States, Phi Kappa Phi has embraced opportunities for positive change while maintaining its heritage and remaining true to its mission. Today Phi Kappa Phi continues to evolve, welcoming innovation,...
The Bilateral Brain: Are Two Better Than One?
When trauma to the human brain occurs, functional loss will depend on the location and extent of brain tissue affected. One striking difference in the deficits observed depends on the hemisphere involved. Most people are familiar with language problems...
The Domestication of the Dog, Part II
In my previous column (Summer 2004) I discussed how all modern domestic dogs can trace their origins from ancestral Eurasian wolves fifteen-thousand years ago. I also discussed the farm-fox experiment, which was a reenactment of how domestication may...
The Essential Difference: The Male and Female Brain
The field of sex differences in psychology is not new, though today it enjoys greater academic freedom than in past decades. The 1960s and 70s, while socially liberating, also made an open-minded debate about any possible role of biology contributing...
The Evolution of the Neocortex from Early Mammals to Modern Humans
Most of us are extremely interested in human behaviors and abilities. Because these behaviors and abilities are mediated by our brains, it is natural to wonder how the human brain is organized and functions. Understanding the human brain is challenging,...
The Journey from Gene to Brain in 25,000 Genes or Less
Are human beings genomically challenged? In the space of a less than half a decade, scientists' best estimates of the numbers of genes in the human genome has dropped dramatically, from about one-hundred thousand a few years ago to just twenty-five...