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Read our January issue

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Adolescents regularly use digital technology, but its impact on their psychological well-being is unclear. Here, the authors examine three large datasets and find only a small negative association: digital technology use explains at most 0.4% of well-being.

    • Amy Orben
    •  & Andrew K. Przybylski
  • Letter |

    In the United States, France and Germany, as peoples’ opposition to genetically modified (GM) foods becomes more extreme, their self-rated understanding of genetic modification increases, but objectively, their knowledge of the science behind genetic modification tends to be poorer.

    • Philip M. Fernbach
    • , Nicholas Light
    • , Sydney E. Scott
    • , Yoel Inbar
    •  & Paul Rozin
  • Letter |

    Askelund et al. show that remembering more specific positive life experiences is associated with fewer negative self-related thoughts and lower levels of stress hormones in a study of 427 adolescents at risk for depression.

    • Adrian Dahl Askelund
    • , Susanne Schweizer
    • , Ian M. Goodyer
    •  & Anne-Laura van Harmelen
  • Article |

    This scoping review identified, summarized and critiqued 15 ontologies related to human behaviour change. The review finds that no existing ontology covers the breadth of human behaviour change and identifies the need for an intervention ontology.

    • Emma Norris
    • , Ailbhe N. Finnerty
    • , Janna Hastings
    • , Gillian Stokes
    •  & Susan Michie
  • Letter |

    Why do we continue processing external events during sleep, yet remain unresponsive? Legendre et al. use electroencephalography to show that sleepers enter a ‘standby mode’, continuing to track relevant signals but doing so transiently.

    • Guillaume Legendre
    • , Thomas Andrillon
    • , Matthieu Koroma
    •  & Sid Kouider
  • Article |

    Combining behavioural modelling with functional and structural brain connectivity, Karlaftis et al. show that individuals learn the structure of variable environments by employing alternate decision strategies that engage distinct brain networks.

    • Vasilis M. Karlaftis
    • , Joseph Giorgio
    • , Petra E. Vértes
    • , Rui Wang
    • , Yuan Shen
    • , Peter Tino
    • , Andrew E. Welchman
    •  & Zoe Kourtzi

News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    Understanding how humans behave, why we behave the way we do, what the consequences of our behaviour are and how behaviour can change are complex, multi-faceted questions, addressed by numerous diverse disciplines that rely on different methods and types of data. We welcome them all in the journal.

  • News & Views |

    A study shows that knowledge about an object’s size — how large it is in the real world — changes how people allocate attention towards the space occupied by a drawing of the object.

    • Soojin Park

About the Journal

  • Nature Human Behaviour publishes research of outstanding significance into any aspect of human behaviour: its psychological, biological, and social bases, as well as its origins, development, and disorders. The journal aims to enhance the visibility of research into human behaviour, strengthening its societal reach and impact.

  • We publish a range of content types including original research articles, Reviews, Perspectives, Comments, News, and Features that elaborate on significant advances in the field and cover topical issues.

  • Nature Human Behaviour is staffed by a dedicated team of professional editors, with relevant research backgrounds. It is led by Stavroula Kousta, formerly the Editor of Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Senior Editor at PLOS Biology, and also includes John Carson, Aisha Bradshaw, Anne-Marike Schiffer, and Mary Elizabeth Sutherland.

  • In addition to our in-house editors, Nature Human Behaviour has an external advisory panel to assist journal development in science and policy.

  • Contact information for editorial staff, submissions, the press office, institutional access and advertising at Nature Human Behaviour


  • Witchcraft beliefs are and have been widespread in human societies, but what impact do they have on social interactions and what cultural evolutionary function might they serve? Field experiments and network data show that the witchcraft label ‘Zhu’ influences labour-sharing and reproductive choices in a large network of southwest Chinese villages. Zhu is not an indicator of prosociality, but may function to spite or damage rivals.

  • An illustration of neurofeedback training guided by an animated scenario [1]. Real-time modulations in the amygdala electrical fingerprint signal are reflected by audiovisual changes in the unrest level of a virtual 3D scenario (a typical hospital waiting room), manifested as the ratio between characters sitting down and those loudly protesting at the counter. The video shows an example both for down- and up-regulation training; in the current study [1], only down-regulation training was conducted. The participant consented to appear in the video. 1. Keynan, J. N. et al. Nat Hum. Behav. (2018)

  • Cultural products have a life of their own: academic papers get cited and songs get downloaded. While scholars have studied these patterns, we know little about how to model the decay of attention. In this study Candia and colleagues model the attention received by cultural products, including scientific papers, patents, songs, movies, and biographies, and show that all these decay following a universal bi-exponential function, which may be due to the differing functions of communicative and cultural collective memory [1]. [1]Candia, C., Jara-Figueroa, C., Rodriguez-Sickert, C., Barabási, A.-L. & Hidalgo, C. A. Nat. Hum. Behav. (2018).


Focus on Cooperation


Focus on Cooperation

Cooperation lies at the heart of human lives and society. Understanding how and when it succeeds and fails is key to solving global challenges. In this Focus issue, we pull together papers from across the journal's broad disciplinary scope to understand the state of knowledge on cooperation and highlight future research directions.

John Carson

Nature events Directory

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    Committee on Publication Ethics