Latest Research

  • Perspective |

    Friederici et al. outline a view of the neural organization of language that is compatible with a description of language as a biologically determined computational mechanism that yields an infinite number of hierarchically structured expressions.

    • Angela D. Friederici
    • , Noam Chomsky
    • , Robert C. Berwick
    • , Andrea Moro
    •  & Johan J. Bolhuis
  • Article |

    A mega-analysis of whole-genome data from seven populations demonstrates substantial hidden heritability for educational attainment and reproductive behaviour, highlighting the importance of sample-specific gene–environment interaction in complex traits.

    • Felix C. Tropf
    • , S. Hong Lee
    • , Renske M. Verweij
    • , Gert Stulp
    • , Peter J. van der Most
    • , Ronald de Vlaming
    • , Andrew Bakshi
    • , Daniel A. Briley
    • , Charles Rahal
    • , Robert Hellpap
    • , Anastasia N. Iliadou
    • , Tõnu Esko
    • , Andres Metspalu
    • , Sarah E. Medland
    • , Nicholas G. Martin
    • , Nicola Barban
    • , Harold Snieder
    • , Matthew R. Robinson
    •  & Melinda C. Mills
  • Letter |

    There are striking similarities among creole languages. Blasi et al. show that these similarities can in fact be explained by the same processes as for non-creole languages, the difference being that creoles have more than one language in their ancestry.

    • Damián E. Blasi
    • , Susanne Maria Michaelis
    •  & Martin Haspelmath
  • Article |

    Brummitt et al. show how supply-chain disruptions can spread contagiously throughout an economy. Adaptations to frequent disruptions can lead to the emergence of a poverty trap. Implications for ‘big push’ economic development policies are discussed.

    • Charles D. Brummitt
    • , Kenan Huremović
    • , Paolo Pin
    • , Matthew H. Bonds
    •  & Fernando Vega-Redondo
  • Article |

    The study by Gómez et al. of frontline fighters and non-combatants shows that a willingness to fight and die in intergroup conflict is associated with the sacrifice of material concerns for sacred values, and the perceived spiritual strength of in-groups and adversaries.

    • Ángel Gómez
    • , Lucía López-Rodríguez
    • , Hammad Sheikh
    • , Jeremy Ginges
    • , Lydia Wilson
    • , Hoshang Waziri
    • , Alexandra Vázquez
    • , Richard Davis
    •  & Scott Atran
  • Article |

    Momennejad et al. formulate and provide evidence for the successor representation, a computational learning mechanism intermediate between the two dominant models (a fast but inflexible ‘model-free’ system and a flexible but slow ‘model-based’ one).

    • I. Momennejad
    • , E. M. Russek
    • , J. H. Cheong
    • , M. M. Botvinick
    • , N. D. Daw
    •  & S. J. Gershman
  • Letter |

    Gächter et al. use experiments and simulations to show that low levels of cooperation (the ‘tragedy of the commons’) are systematically more likely in maintaining a public good than in providing a new one, even under identical incentives.

    • Simon Gächter
    • , Felix Kölle
    •  & Simone Quercia
  • Review Article |

    Sagiv et al. review two decades of research into personal values. Although subjective in nature, self-reported values predict a large array of attitudes and preferences. As such, they provide invaluable insight into human behaviour.

    • Lilach Sagiv
    • , Sonia Roccas
    • , Jan Cieciuch
    •  & Shalom H. Schwartz
  • Letter |

    Global groundwater resources are threatened by over-extraction. An agent-based model is presented, incorporating cooperative and collective action theory that reveals tipping points in social attitudes toward conservation in three at-risk regions.

    • Juan Carlos Castilla-Rho
    • , Rodrigo Rojas
    • , Martin S. Andersen
    • , Cameron Holley
    •  & Gregoire Mariethoz
  • Letter |

    Gervais et al. present evidence from 13 different countries that shows intuitive moral distrust of atheists is pervasive, even among atheists themselves.

    • Will M. Gervais
    • , Dimitris Xygalatas
    • , Ryan T. McKay
    • , Michiel van Elk
    • , Emma E. Buchtel
    • , Mark Aveyard
    • , Sarah R. Schiavone
    • , Ilan Dar-Nimrod
    • , Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen
    • , Tapani Riekki
    • , Eva Kundtová Klocová
    • , Jonathan E. Ramsay
    •  & Joseph Bulbulia
  • Letter |

    Spitzer et al. investigate the neural and computational mechanisms involved in weighting, integrating and comparing numbers. They find systematic overweighting of larger numbers, which is reflected in stronger neural signals over the parietal cortex.

    • Bernhard Spitzer
    • , Leonhard Waschke
    •  & Christopher Summerfield
  • Resource |

    Hollands and colleagues classify possible interventions regarding the selection, purchase and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco. The TIPPME framework enables systematic reporting and analysis of health-related behavioural change interventions.

    • Gareth J. Hollands
    • , Giacomo Bignardi
    • , Marie Johnston
    • , Michael P. Kelly
    • , David Ogilvie
    • , Mark Petticrew
    • , Andrew Prestwich
    • , Ian Shemilt
    • , Stephen Sutton
    •  & Theresa M. Marteau
  • Letter |

    Peters et al. use intracranial recordings and machine-learning techniques to show that human subjects under-use decision-incongruent evidence in the brain when computing perceptual confidence.

    • Megan A. K. Peters
    • , Thomas Thesen
    • , Yoshiaki D. Ko
    • , Brian Maniscalco
    • , Chad Carlson
    • , Matt Davidson
    • , Werner Doyle
    • , Ruben Kuzniecky
    • , Orrin Devinsky
    • , Eric Halgren
    •  & Hakwan Lau
  • Letter |

    Research has shown that people dislike inequality. However, in a cross-cultural experiment, Zhou and colleagues show that, from a young age, people are unwilling to redistribute resources between individuals if this reverses an existing hierarchy.

    • Wenwen Xie
    • , Benjamin Ho
    • , Stephan Meier
    •  & Xinyue Zhou
  • Letter |

    Tannenbaum et al. show that partisan framing influences beliefs about the ethical use of behavioural policy interventions, but both US adults and practising policymakers are accepting of nudges when stripped of partisan cues.

    • David Tannenbaum
    • , Craig R. Fox
    •  & Todd Rogers
  • Letter |

    Lockwood et al. use a real-effort task and computational modelling to examine how individuals choose to expend effort when rewards accrue to themselves versus others. They find that people are less motivated to work for others.

    • Patricia L. Lockwood
    • , Mathilde Hamonet
    • , Samuel H. Zhang
    • , Anya Ratnavel
    • , Florentine U. Salmony
    • , Masud Husain
    •  & Matthew A. J. Apps
  • Letter |

    Why does low-quality information go viral? A stylized model of social media predicts that under real-world conditions of high information load and limited attention, low- and high-quality information are equally likely to go viral.

    • Xiaoyan Qiu
    • , Diego F. M. Oliveira
    • , Alireza Sahami Shirazi
    • , Alessandro Flammini
    •  & Filippo Menczer
  • Letter |

    How should Europe allocate asylum seekers? Bansak et al. show that a majority of Europeans support allocating asylum seekers proportionally to each country’s capacity, rather than the current policy of allocation based on country of first entry.

    • Kirk Bansak
    • , Jens Hainmueller
    •  & Dominik Hangartner
  • Perspective |

    Medaglia et al. explore how network control theory — a subdiscipline of engineering — could guide interventions that modulate mental states in order to treat cognitive deficits or enhance mental abilities.

    • John D. Medaglia
    • , Perry Zurn
    • , Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett