October 19, 2009


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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — David Linden will give the talk, "Love, Sex and Brain Evolution," on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the ongoing Martin and Arlene Cummings Lecture series and the Social Science Colloquium series, and is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the University Lectureship Committee and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender.

Brain evolution
Linden, who is professor of neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will discuss how the most prosaic aspects of sexual activity in humans are far outside the mainstream of behavior for most of our closest animal relatives, saying, "The most important determinants of human amorous and sexual behavior derive from quirky and suboptimal brain evolution.

"Within this evolutionary framework, Linden will discuss the brain's role in romantic love and mate choice, sexual arousal, orgasm and sexual orientation," said Susan Reed, assistant professor of women's and gender studies and anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender at Bucknell.

Award-winning author
The author of more than 90 scientific papers, Linden has been recognized with numerous awards including those from the Society for Neuroscience, the Alzheimer's Association and the National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Neurophysiology, he is the author of The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams and God (Belknap/Harvard, 2007) which won the Silver Medal for Science books at the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards and which is being translated into eight languages. Copies of The Accidental Mind may be purchased and signed by the author at the lecture.

Distinguished speakers
The Martin and Arlene Cummings Lectureship was established in 1995 to provide annual lectures and residencies by distinguished scholars who will discuss and speak on the history of science, scientific inquiry and the effects of science on culture, politics and the human condition.

Previous speakers in the series have been Daniel Boorstin, former Librarian of Congress; Evelyn Fox, a leader in scientific inquiry between the sciences and the humanities; Howard Gest, an early member of the Manhattan Project who signed the Szilard petition against using atomic weapons; Ronald Green, a biomedical ethicist who discussed the Human Genome Project; and Donald Simanek, curator of The Museum of Unworkable Devices.

Contact: Division of Communications

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