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Arid1b haploinsufficiency causes autism and intellectual disability, yet the neurobiological basis of this is unknown. The authors demonstrate that Arid1b-heterozygous mice have impaired cortical interneuron development and epigenetic signatures. These mice also have cognitive and social deficits, which are reversed by treatment with a GABAA-receptor-positive allosteric modulator.
Resolving conflict in an orderly way is beneficial, but it is unclear whether non-human animals make and observe such rules. Here, authors show that mice spontaneously develop and observe such rules, thereby increasing their total, individual reward as well as the reward equity with other mice.
Advances in technology and the advent of social media have led to the emergence of a new phenomenon — cyberbullying. Although there are some similarities, approaches to tackling traditional bullying are largely ineffective in combating cyberbullying, which has been linked to adverse mental health and, in extreme cases, suicide.
A combination of computational modeling, neuroimaging and a causal manipulation of brain activity in humans reveals how the brain represents beliefs about how our choices will affect those of others we interact with.
Effort is costly. People devalue personal rewards that require some measure of physical or even mental effort. Laboratory studies now suggest that physical effort is especially costly when engaged to benefit others. Even when people are willing, however, their efforts are often superficial, with people doing what is necessary but no more.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging and social network analysis show that on viewing familiar individuals in a small social network, the brain activates regions critical for inferring mental states and intentions, as well as regions associated with spatial navigation and psychological distance.
Recent evidence suggests that T cells and their derived cytokines affect the brain in disease and health. In this Opinion article, Kipnis and colleagues describe their effects and possible underlying mechanisms, and propose an evolutionary model to explain why the T cell-derived cytokine interferon-γ has both pro-social and immune effects.