News & Comment

  • Comment |

    Although important steps have been taken to prevent publication of a disproportionate number of non-reproducible chance findings, null findings are usually still considered disappointing. There is every reason to change this perception, because lack of associations can teach us just as much as significant ones.

    • Albertine J. Oldehinkel
  • Comment |

    Through cooperation we are able to thrive, build societies, culture and technology. But history also reveals our potential for selfishness, spite and prejudice. Studying the neural processes that drive choice behaviour is essential to understand this paradox and develop means to curb greed and extend the limits of cooperation.

    • Carolyn H. Declerck
    •  & Christophe Boone
  • Comment |

    Some acts of human cooperation are not easily explained by traditional models of kinship or reciprocity. Fitness interdependence may provide a unifying conceptual framework, in which cooperation arises from the mutual dependence for survival or reproduction, as occurs among mates, risk-pooling partnerships and brothers-in-arms.

    • Athena Aktipis
    • , Lee Cronk
    • , Joe Alcock
    • , Jessica D. Ayers
    • , Cristina Baciu
    • , Daniel Balliet
    • , Amy M. Boddy
    • , Oliver Scott Curry
    • , Jaimie Arona Krems
    • , Andrés Muñoz
    • , Daniel Sullivan
    • , Daniel Sznycer
    • , Gerald S. Wilkinson
    •  & Pamela Winfrey
  • Comment |

    Many species face the problems of how, when and with whom to cooperate. Comparing responses across species can reveal the evolutionary trajectory of these decisions, including in humans. Using nearly identical economic game methods to compare species could identify the evolutionary constraints and catalysts to cooperation.

    • Sarah F. Brosnan
  • News & Views |

    Agriculture is one of the key innovations of human societies, yet the nature of and reasons for its emergence are debated. A new model that hindcasts past global population suggests that an improving climate increased plant productivity and human population density, facilitating domestication.

    • Dolores R. Piperno
  • Comment |

    Knowledge that humans could trigger a regime shift in a vital natural system may help in identifying a goal for collective action, but it is unlikely to spur the degree of cooperation needed to avert a catastrophe. Substantial behaviour change can be achieved by manipulating the institutions that govern human action on the commons.

    • Astrid Dannenberg
    •  & Scott Barrett
  • Editorial |

    Human beings are a social species that relies on cooperation to survive and thrive. Understanding how and why cooperation succeeds or fails is integral to solving the many global challenges we face.

  • News & Views |

    A study shows that updating visual perceptual skills is an active process with many similarities to memory plasticity. Using classic behavioural techniques and new brain imaging tools, the authors show that this perceptual skill can undergo reconsolidation.

    • Matteo Bernabo
    •  & Karim Nader
  • News & Views |

    Category learning requires finding commonalities between objects in spite of their differences in appearance. While generally thought to rely on abstract representations, far removed from the sensory input, category learning may instead involve early sensory processes more than expected.

    • Stefan Pollmann
  • Comment |

    Video games are increasingly exposing young players to randomized in-game reward mechanisms, purchasable for real money — so-called loot boxes. Do loot boxes constitute a form of gambling?

    • Aaron Drummond
    •  & James D. Sauer
  • Comment |

    The complex research, policy and industrial challenges of the twenty-first century require collaborative problem solving. Assessments suggest that, globally, many graduates lack necessary competencies. There is a pressing need, therefore, to improve and expand teaching of collaborative problem solving in our education systems.

    • Stephen M. Fiore
    • , Arthur Graesser
    •  & Samuel Greiff
  • News & Views |

    Online communication has become integral to modern political behaviour — to the extent that events online both reflect and influence actions offline. A study uses geolocated Twitter data to argue that moralization of protests leads to violent protests and increased support for violence.

    • Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld
  • Correspondence |

    • Richard Huskey
    • , Nicholas Bowman
    • , Allison Eden
    • , Matthew Grizzard
    • , Lindsay Hahn
    • , Robert Lewis
    • , Nicholas Matthews
    • , Ron Tamborini
    • , Joseph B. Walther
    •  & René Weber