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Stanford Report, March 8, 2000

Studying cricket fights, researchers may learn more about human depression

BY MARK SHWARTZ

Cricket fighting has been a popular sport in China for centuries.

According to Chinese folklore, when two male crickets engage in combat, the loser will refuse to fight again unless he's shaken and tossed in the air by his trainer.

Now biologists have found a scientific explanation for what the ancient Chinese knew all along. These new insights into cricket behavior even may help unlock some of the mysteries about depression in human beings.

Hans A. Hofmann, a postdoctoral neurobiologist in the Department of Psychology, describes his findings in the Feb. 10 issue of the journal Nature.