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Latest Research

  • Article |

    Infants listened to lullabies and other songs recorded in cultures and languages that were unfamiliar to them. They relaxed more in response to the lullabies. This suggests that infants may be predisposed to respond to common features of lullabies.

    • Constance M. Bainbridge
    • , Mila Bertolo
    • , Julie Youngers
    • , S. Atwood
    • , Lidya Yurdum
    • , Jan Simson
    • , Kelsie Lopez
    • , Feng Xing
    • , Alia Martin
    •  & Samuel A. Mehr
  • Article |

    Assaneo et al. show that speech production timing can facilitate perception. Individuals differed in whether they utilized motor timing depending on the auditory–motor cortex connection strength.

    • M. Florencia Assaneo
    • , Johanna M. Rimmele
    • , Yonatan Sanz Perl
    •  & David Poeppel
  • Article |

    People donate billions each year, yet giving is often ineffective. Five experiments tested an explanation for inefficient giving based on evolutionary game theory, ruling out alternative accounts based on cognitive or emotional limitations.

    • Bethany Burum
    • , Martin A. Nowak
    •  & Moshe Hoffman

News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    From aardvark to zyzzyva, the world we live in is rich and complex. How is this diversity of objects represented in the human mind? Through an experimental and computational tour de force, Hebart et al. show that people share a mental representation of objects based on a small number of meaningful dimensions.

    • Maximilian Riesenhuber
  • News & Views |

    Perceptions of numerosity, duration and distance play fundamental roles in our behaviour and in our thinking, but how we perceive these abstract quantities is a mystery. Cheyette and Piantadosi provide a model that explains both new and long-standing experimental results on the accuracy and speed with which human subjects report the numerosity of a visible set.

    • C. R. Gallistel
  • Comment |

    Social and behavioural scientists have attempted to speak to the COVID-19 crisis. But is behavioural research on COVID-19 suitable for making policy decisions? We offer a taxonomy that lets our science advance in ‘evidence readiness levels’ to be suitable for policy. We caution practitioners to take extreme care translating our findings to applications.

    • Hans IJzerman
    • , Neil A. Lewis Jr.
    • , Andrew K. Przybylski
    • , Netta Weinstein
    • , Lisa DeBruine
    • , Stuart J. Ritchie
    • , Simine Vazire
    • , Patrick S. Forscher
    • , Richard D. Morey
    • , James D. Ivory
    •  & Farid Anvari
  • News & Views |

    Probabilistic mixture models have contributed significantly to advancements in visual working memory research in recent decades. In a new paper, Schurgin and colleagues revisit the basic assumptions of mixture models and suggest that we cannot understand memory without first considering perception.

    • Blaire Dube
    •  & Julie D. Golomb
  • Comment |

    Twitter announced on 18 June 2019 that it would remove the precise geotagging feature in tweets. In addition to protecting the location privacy of users, this change also affects human behaviour studies based on geotagged tweets. We discuss the potential impact of Twitter’s decision and how researchers can respond to this change.

    • Yingjie Hu
    •  & Ruo-Qian Wang

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, World Views, News & Views, Correspondences, and Research Highlights 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 Aisha Bradshaw, Jamie Horder, Charlotte Payne, and Anne-Marike Schiffer.

  • 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

Videos

  • 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 [1]. 1. Mace, R., Thomas, M.G., Wu, J., He, Q., Ji, T. & Tao, Yi. Nat. Hum. Behav. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0271-6 (2018)

  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-0484-3 (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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-04... (2018).

Focus

COVID-19 and human behaviour

GeorgePeters / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty

COVID-19 and human behaviour

Human behaviour has been critical in shaping the COVID-19 pandemic, and the actions of individuals, groups, nation states and international bodies all have a role to play in curbing its spread. This means that insights from behavioural, social and health sciences are and will continue to be invaluable throughout the course of the pandemic. In this Focus, we bring together original research and expert viewpoints from a broad spectrum of disciplines that provide insight into the causes, impacts, and mitigation of the pandemic, highlighting how research on individual and collective behaviour can contribute to an effective response.

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