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Myanmar frees high-profile dissidents in amnesty

Some of the most important Burmese political dissidents have been freed. It is another sign that top officials in the long repressive Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, are softening their stance toward the opposition.

(BBC) Yangon - Some of Burma's most important political dissidents have been freed, the latest of a series of prisoner amnesties. Those freed include veterans of the 1988 student protest movement, monks involved in the 2007 demonstrations and ethnic-minority activists. The highest profile is Min Ko Naing, a leader of the failed 1988 uprising.

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Society

The Neuroscience Behind The Perfect Gift

Why do we like what we like? New insights from neuroscience reveal that objects that please us are as much about our own values as the objects themselves.

The Neuroscience Behind The Perfect Gift

What to offer for Christmas?

Ana Clemente

It's the season of gift-giving, which brings both joy and anxiety about picking out the right present for that special someone. But how do you pick a gift that they'll appreciate?

Neuroscience can help. It reveals that the perfect gift is as much about our value systems as the object itself.

We humans, like other cognitive systems, are sensitive to our environment. We use sensory information to guide our behavior. To be in the world.

We decide how to act based on the hedonic value we assign to objects, people, situations or events. We seek out and engage in behaviors that lead to positive or rewarding outcomes and avoid those that lead to negative or punitive consequences. We construct our knowledge of the world according to how much we like elements of the environment, and we do so by learning and generating expectations about them.

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