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Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 645b
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.645b

The Attentive Brain. Raja Parasuraman, Ed. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998. 589 pp. $65. ISBN 0-262-16724-9.

The contributors take attention to be a finite set of interacting brain processes. After describing neuroscience techniques for studying it, they examine its major components (selection, vigilance, and control) from a cognitive neuroscience perspective, discuss links to memory and language, and consider attention's development and pathologies.

The Genetic Gods. Evolution and Belief in Human Affairs. John C. Avise. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998. 287 pp. $29.95, £18.50. ISBN 0-674-34625-4.

Avise proposes that genes and the mechanistic processes shaping them “assume many of the roles in human affairs traditionally reserved for supernatural deities.” He offers the general reader a review of recent findings in evolutionary genetics and molecular biology, and discusses their relevance to questions about human origins, the meaning of life, and fate.

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