Psychology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can easily extract task-relevant gist features from visual scenes and hold those features in working memory. Here, the authors show that this gist information is gradually abstracted from posterior to anterior regions of the brain and stably represented at the anterior region.

    • Byung-Il Oh
    • , Yee-Joon Kim
    •  & Min-Suk Kang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The visual word form area (VWFA) is a brain region associated with written language, but it has also been linked to visuospatial attention. Here, the authors reveal distinct structural and functional circuits linking VWFA with language and attention networks, and demonstrate that these circuits separately predict language and attention abilities.

    • Lang Chen
    • , Demian Wassermann
    • , Daniel A. Abrams
    • , John Kochalka
    • , Guillermo Gallardo-Diez
    •  & Vinod Menon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The fusiform face area and parahippocampal place area respond to face and scene stimuli respectively. Here, the authors show using fMRI that these brain areas are also preferentially activated by eye movements associated with looking at faces and scenes even when no images are shown.

    • Lihui Wang
    • , Florian Baumgartner
    • , Falko R. Kaule
    • , Michael Hanke
    •  & Stefan Pollmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Because our immediate observations are often ambiguous, we must use the context (prior beliefs) to guide inference, but the context may also be uncertain. Here, the authors show that humans can accurately estimate the reliability of the context and combine it with sensory uncertainty to form their decisions and estimate confidence.

    • Philipp Schustek
    • , Alexandre Hyafil
    •  & Rubén Moreno-Bote
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Eye‐tracking is a valuable tool in cognitive science for measuring how attention is directed during visual scene exploration. Here, the authors introduce a new, touchscreen-based method that accomplishes the same goal via tracking finger movements.

    • Guillaume Lio
    • , Roberta Fadda
    • , Giuseppe Doneddu
    • , Jean‐René Duhamel
    •  & Angela Sirigu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Interference from overlapping memories can cause forgetting. Here, the authors show using fMRI decoding approaches that spontaneous reactivation of older memories during new encoding leads to integration, and less interference, between overlapping items.

    • Avi J. H. Chanales
    • , Nicole M. Dudukovic
    • , Franziska R. Richter
    •  & Brice A. Kuhl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The brain mechanisms underlying cooperation within groups, while balancing individual and collective interests, are poorly understood. Here, the authors identify the neurocomputations engaged in social dilemmas requiring strategic decisions during repeated social interactions in groups.

    • Seongmin A. Park
    • , Mariateresa Sestito
    • , Erie D. Boorman
    •  & Jean-Claude Dreher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    From observational studies, alcohol consumption behaviours are known to be correlated in spouses. Here, Howe et al. use partners’ genotypic information in a Mendelian randomization framework and show that a SNP in the ADH1B gene associates with partner’s alcohol consumption, suggesting that alcohol consumption affects mate choice.

    • Laurence J. Howe
    • , Daniel J. Lawson
    • , Neil M. Davies
    • , Beate St. Pourcain
    • , Sarah J. Lewis
    • , George Davey Smith
    •  & Gibran Hemani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    We tend to be more trusting of people who we know to be honest. Here, the authors show using fMRI that honesty-based trustworthiness is represented in the posterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus, and predicts subsequent trust decisions.

    • Gabriele Bellucci
    • , Felix Molter
    •  & Soyoung Q. Park
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using agent-based models of a problem-solving task in a network, the authors show that clustering people of similar knowledge maintains solution diversity and increases long run system collective performance. Clustering those with similar abilities, however, lowers solution diversity and performance.

    • Charles J. Gomez
    •  & David M. J. Lazer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Is there an optimum difficulty level for training? In this paper, the authors show that for the widely-used class of stochastic gradient-descent based learning algorithms, learning is fastest when the accuracy during training is 85%.

    • Robert C. Wilson
    • , Amitai Shenhav
    • , Mark Straccia
    •  & Jonathan D. Cohen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Decision-making research has confounded the reward value of options with their goal-congruency, as the task goal was always to pick the most rewarding option. Here, authors separately asked participants to select the least rewarding of a set of options, revealing a dominant role for goal congruency.

    • Romy Frömer
    • , Carolyn K. Dean Wolf
    •  & Amitai Shenhav
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In order to perceive moving or changing objects, sensory information must be integrated over time. Here, using a visual sequential metacontrast paradigm, the authors show that integration occurs only when subsequent stimuli are presented within a discrete window of time after the initial stimulus.

    • Leila Drissi-Daoudi
    • , Adrien Doerig
    •  & Michael H. Herzog
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Late childhood is an important period for the development of inhibitory control underlying self-regulation and impulse control behavior. Here, the authors identify brain mechanisms and functional cortical-basal ganglia circuits that predict inhibitory control in children.

    • Weidong Cai
    • , Katherine Duberg
    • , Aarthi Padmanabhan
    • , Rachel Rehert
    • , Travis Bradley
    • , Victor Carrion
    •  & Vinod Menon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have suggested that being hungry causes people to make more selfish and less prosocial decisions. Here, the authors carried out a series of studies to test this claim and found that the effect of acute hunger was very weak at best.

    • Jan A. Häusser
    • , Christina Stahlecker
    • , Andreas Mojzisch
    • , Johannes Leder
    • , Paul A. M. Van Lange
    •  & Nadira S. Faber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How do liberals and conservatives differ in their expression of compassion and moral concern? The authors show that conservatives tend to express concern toward smaller, more well-defined, and less permeable social circles, while liberals express concern toward larger, less well-defined, and more permeable social circles.

    • Adam Waytz
    • , Ravi Iyer
    • , Liane Young
    • , Jonathan Haidt
    •  & Jesse Graham
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory involves a fronto-parietal brain network, but how the parts of this network are coordinated is unclear. Here, the authors show that fast brain activity at posterior sites is nested into prefrontal slow brain waves, with cognitive demand determining the slow wave phase involved.

    • B. Berger
    • , B. Griesmayr
    • , T. Minarik
    • , A. L. Biel
    • , D. Pinal
    • , A. Sterr
    •  & P. Sauseng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sense of agency (SoA) refers to the experience that one's own actions caused an external event. Here, the authors present a model of SoA in terms of optimal Bayesian cue integration taking into account reliability of action and outcome sensory signals and judging if the action caused the outcome.

    • Roberto Legaspi
    •  & Taro Toyoizumi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Our experience of pain can be affected by our expectations about how much pain we will feel. Here, the authors show that both social information-driven expectations, and those based on personal experience, are both able to modulate pain, but by different neural pathways.

    • Leonie Koban
    • , Marieke Jepma
    • , Marina López-Solà
    •  & Tor D. Wager
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Females tend to perform poorer than males on math and science tests, but better on verbal reading tests. Here, by analysing performance during a cognitive test, the authors provide evidence that females are better able to sustain their performance during a test across all of these topics.

    • Pau Balart
    •  & Matthijs Oosterveen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Questions related to human altruism are often studied through self-reported behavior or by measuring behavior in laboratory experiments. Here, the authors examine real-world prosocial behavior using charitable donations made online.

    • Matthew R. Sisco
    •  & Elke U. Weber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Primary visual cortical neurons exhibit diverse responses to visual stimuli yet how these signals are integrated during visual perception is not well understood. Here, the authors show that optogenetic stimulation of neurons situated near the visually‐driven population leads to improved orientation detection in monkeys through changes in correlated variability.

    • Ariana R. Andrei
    • , Sorin Pojoga
    • , Roger Janz
    •  & Valentin Dragoi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in both on-task thought during increased environmental demands, and off-task thought during decreased demand–suggesting a role for the DLPFC in prioritising goals in a context-dependent manner.

    • A. Turnbull
    • , H. T. Wang
    • , C. Murphy
    • , N. S. P. Ho
    • , X. Wang
    • , M. Sormaz
    • , T. Karapanagiotidis
    • , R. M. Leech
    • , B. Bernhardt
    • , D. S. Margulies
    • , D. Vatansever
    • , E. Jefferies
    •  & J. Smallwood
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Math and reading have shared cognitive components; here authors examined what are shared and dissociated neural substrates of these tasks. They find that dissociated regions and white matter sub-bundles within fascicles support adding and reading, suggesting parallel processing in the brain.

    • Mareike Grotheer
    • , Zonglei Zhen
    • , Garikoitz Lerma-Usabiaga
    •  & Kalanit Grill-Spector
  • Article
    | Open Access

    By examining the organization of bird song and human speech, the authors show that the two types of communication signals have similar sequential structures, following both hierarchical and Markovian organization.

    • Tim Sainburg
    • , Brad Theilman
    • , Marvin Thielk
    •  & Timothy Q. Gentner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Eating disorders are often comorbid with emotional and psychiatric symptoms yet the underlying neural circuits are poorly understood. Here, the authors report that projections from the paraventricular hypothalamus to the ventral part of the lateral septum regulates both feeding and behavioral responses to stress.

    • Yuanzhong Xu
    • , Yungang Lu
    • , Ryan M. Cassidy
    • , Leandra R. Mangieri
    • , Canjun Zhu
    • , Xugen Huang
    • , Zhiying Jiang
    • , Nicholas J. Justice
    • , Yong Xu
    • , Benjamin R. Arenkiel
    •  & Qingchun Tong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The empirical consequences of human explorative strategies are not fully understood. Here the authors find that during undisturbed conditions, more-explorative vessels gained no performance advantage while during a major disturbance event, explorers benefited significantly from less-impacted revenues and were also more likely to continue fishing.

    • Shay O’Farrell
    • , James N. Sanchirico
    • , Orr Spiegel
    • , Maxime Depalle
    • , Alan C. Haynie
    • , Steven A. Murawski
    • , Larry Perruso
    •  & Andrew Strelcheck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Higher educational attainment is positively associated with a number of health outcomes. Here, Sanderson et al. use multivariable Mendelian randomisation analysis to test whether the association of educational attainment with smoking behaviour is direct or indirectly mediated via general cognitive ability.

    • Eleanor Sanderson
    • , George Davey Smith
    • , Jack Bowden
    •  & Marcus R. Munafò
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The visual system excels at segregating moving objects from their backgrounds, a key visual function hypothesized to be driven by suppressive centre-surround mechanisms. Here, the authors show that spatial suppression of background motion signals is critical for rapid segmentation of moving objects.

    • Duje Tadin
    • , Woon Ju Park
    • , Kevin C. Dieter
    • , Michael D. Melnick
    • , Joseph S. Lappin
    •  & Randolph Blake
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can learn to identify a person based on their voice, despite variation in their voice. Here, the authors show that this ability relies on a statistical abstraction mechanism during which people form average-based representations of voices, even without prior exposure to the average.

    • Nadine Lavan
    • , Sarah Knight
    •  & Carolyn McGettigan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An individual’s pattern of resting state brain connectivity, as measured with fMRI, has been shown to predict cognitive and behavioral traits. Here, the authors show that different traits are predicted by different time-scales of resting state activity (dynamic vs. static).

    • Raphaël Liégeois
    • , Jingwei Li
    • , Ru Kong
    • , Csaba Orban
    • , Dimitri Van De Ville
    • , Tian Ge
    • , Mert R. Sabuncu
    •  & B. T. Thomas Yeo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Scientific progress relies on integrating and building on existing knowledge. Here, the authors propose improving cumulative science by developing data-driven ontologies, and they apply this approach to understanding the construct of self-regulation.

    • Ian W. Eisenberg
    • , Patrick G. Bissett
    • , A. Zeynep Enkavi
    • , Jamie Li
    • , David P. MacKinnon
    • , Lisa A. Marsch
    •  & Russell A. Poldrack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Social life requires us to store information about each person’s unique disposition. Here, the authors show that the brain represents people as the sums of the mental states that those people are believed to experience.

    • Mark A. Thornton
    • , Miriam E. Weaverdyck
    •  & Diana I. Tamir
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The perception of spatial patterns (form vision) is thought to rely on rod and cone cells in the retina. Here, the authors show that a third kind of retinal cell, melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells, can also detect form in humans, under particular conditions.

    • Annette E. Allen
    • , Franck P. Martial
    •  & Robert J. Lucas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Episodic memory retrieval is hypothesized to rely on hippocampal reinstatement of item-context associations which drives reinstatement of item information in cortex. Here, the authors confirm this sequence of events, using iEEG recordings from the human hippocampus and lateral temporal cortex.

    • D. Pacheco Estefan
    • , M. Sánchez-Fibla
    • , A. Duff
    • , A. Principe
    • , R. Rocamora
    • , H. Zhang
    • , N. Axmacher
    •  & P. F. M. J. Verschure
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People vividly simulate prospective events and experience the anticipated affect—processes supported by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Here, the authors show that these mere simulations change real-life attitudes, via a value transfer between environmental representations in the vmPFC.

    • Roland G. Benoit
    • , Philipp C. Paulus
    •  & Daniel L. Schacter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The brain can represent the mental states of others, as well as those of the self. Here, the authors show that social brain manifests more distinct activity patterns when thinking about one's own states, compared to those of others, suggesting that we represent our own mind with greater granularity.

    • Mark A. Thornton
    • , Miriam E. Weaverdyck
    • , Judith N. Mildner
    •  & Diana I. Tamir
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People differ in their current levels of understanding of many complex concepts. Here, the authors show using fMRI that brain activity during a task that requires concept knowledge can be used to compute a ‘neural score’ of the participant’s understanding.

    • Joshua S. Cetron
    • , Andrew C. Connolly
    • , Solomon G. Diamond
    • , Vicki V. May
    • , James V. Haxby
    •  & David J. M. Kraemer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In a sample of prisoners, the authors show how learning contributes to the link between exposure to violence (ETV) and maladaptive behavior. While ETV did not disrupt people's ability to learn others' propensity to harm, it did disrupt the development of subjective moral impressions and, subsequently, their ability to adjust levels of trust in others.

    • Jenifer Z. Siegel
    • , Suzanne Estrada
    • , Molly J. Crockett
    •  & Arielle Baskin-Sommers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Social groups form collective memories, but the temporal dynamics of this process are unclear. Here, the authors show that when early conversations involve individuals that bridge across clusters of a social network, the network reaches higher mnemonic convergence compared to when early conversations occur within clusters.

    • Ida Momennejad
    • , Ajua Duker
    •  & Alin Coman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The hippocampus is involved both in episodic memory recall and scene processing. Here, the authors show that hippocampal neurons first process scene cues before coordinating memory-guided pattern completion in adjacent entorhinal cortex.

    • Bernhard P. Staresina
    • , Thomas P. Reber
    • , Johannes Niediek
    • , Jan Boström
    • , Christian E. Elger
    •  & Florian Mormann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors show that individuals apply different ‘moral strategies’ in interpersonal decision-making. These strategies are linked to distinct patterns of neural activity, even when they produce the same choice outcomes, illuminating how distinct moral principles can guide social behavior.

    • Jeroen M. van Baar
    • , Luke J. Chang
    •  & Alan G. Sanfey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many functions of the human brain are lateralised i.e. associated more strongly with either the left or the right hemisphere of the brain. Here, the authors report the first complete map of functional asymmetries in the human brain, and its relationship with structural inter-hemispheric connectivity.

    • Vyacheslav R. Karolis
    • , Maurizio Corbetta
    •  & Michel Thiebaut de Schotten
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have reached human-level benchmarks in classifying images, but they can be “fooled” by adversarial examples that elicit bizarre misclassifications from machines. Here, the authors show how humans can anticipate which objects CNNs will see in adversarial images.

    • Zhenglong Zhou
    •  & Chaz Firestone
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rapid arrival to hospital after stroke is critical for patients to receive effective treatment. Here, the authors examine how stroke patients’ social network structure relates to stroke arrival time, and show that small and close-knit personal networks predict delayed arrival.

    • Amar Dhand
    • , Douglas Luke
    • , Catherine Lang
    • , Michael Tsiaklides
    • , Steven Feske
    •  & Jin-Moo Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human confidence tracks current performance, but little is known about the formation of ‘global’ self-performance estimates over longer timescales. Here, the authors show that people use local confidence to form global estimates, but tend to underestimate their performance when feedback is absent.

    • Marion Rouault
    • , Peter Dayan
    •  & Stephen M. Fleming
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When learning about rewards and threats in the environment, animals often need to learn the value associated with conjunctions of features, not just individual features. Here, the authors show that the hippocampus forms conjunctive representations that are dissociable from individual feature components.

    • Ian C. Ballard
    • , Anthony D. Wagner
    •  & Samuel M. McClure
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Resource sharing over peer-to-peer technological networks is emerging as economically important, yet little is known about how people choose to share in this context. Here, the authors introduce a new game to model sharing, and test how players form sharing strategies depending on technological constraints.

    • Hirokazu Shirado
    • , George Iosifidis
    • , Leandros Tassiulas
    •  & Nicholas A. Christakis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    We can recognize an object from one of its features, e.g. hearing a bark leads us to think of a dog. Here, the authors show using fMRI that the brain combines bits of information into object representations, and that presenting a few features of an object activates representations of its other attributes.

    • Sasa L. Kivisaari
    • , Marijn van Vliet
    • , Annika Hultén
    • , Tiina Lindh-Knuutila
    • , Ali Faisal
    •  & Riitta Salmelin