Volume 3 Issue 6, June 2019

Volume 3 Issue 6

Profiling Old English poetry

The corpus of Old English poetry is sparse and fragmented, making its study challenging. Neidorf et al. analyse the whole corpus quantitatively, providing answers to two longstanding questions of English literary history: most likely, a single author composed Beowulf and the anonymous poem Andreas was written by Cynewulf.

See Neidorf et al.

Cover image: J. R. Skelton, Ivy Close Images / Alamy Stock Photo. Cover design: Bethany Vukomanovic.


  • Editorial |

    Behavioural interventions leverage knowledge from basic research to improve important aspects of life, such as healthy eating. Nature Human Behaviour is committed to working with researchers to disseminate the findings from such important intervention studies as broadly as possible.

Comment & Opinion

  • World View |

    Open educational resources enable the effective use and sharing of knowledge with those who have been denied an education due to economic or social circumstances. Sarita Kumar outlines how open educational resources can benefit education systems across the Global South by opening up an entire generation to new ideas, technologies and advancements.

    • Sarita Kumar
  • World View |

    There has been a divide between scientists making recommendations for sustainable natural resource development and the community living around those resources. Masami Nakagawa argues that the community should be considered first, as the successful development of sustainable natural resources requires their cooperation and trust.

    • Masami Nakagawa
  • Comment |

    Antibiotic resistance is an emerging global danger. Reaching responsible prescribing decisions requires the integration of broad and complex information. Artificial intelligence tools could support decision-making at multiple levels, but building them needs a transparent co-development approach to ensure their adoption upon implementation.

    • Timothy M. Rawson
    • , Raheelah Ahmad
    • , Christofer Toumazou
    • , Pantelis Georgiou
    •  & Alison H. Holmes

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    We know that curiosity is a strong driver of behaviour, but we know relatively little about its underlying motives. A new study shows that human curiosity may be driven by diverse motives. While some individuals are primarily motivated to form accurate beliefs, others rather seek information that makes them feel good.

    • Lieke L. F. van Lieshout
    • , Floris P. de Lange
    •  & Roshan Cools
  • News & Views |

    Every person develops brain regions to recognize people, places and things; these regions end up in similar locations across brains. However, people who played Pokémon extensively as children also have a region that responds more to Pokémon than anything else, and its location is likely determined by the size of the Pokémon on the video game player’s screen.

    • Daniel Janini
    •  & Talia Konkle


  • Perspective |

    Why do people engage in collective decisions? El Zein, Bahrami & Hertwig argue that—through sharing responsibility—joint decisions protect individuals from possible negative consequences of difficult decisions by reducing regret and stress and helping avoid punishment.

    • Marwa El Zein
    • , Bahador Bahrami
    •  & Ralph Hertwig


  • Letter |

    Neidorf et al. analyse the style of all surviving Old English poetry. They find quantitative evidence that a single author composed Beowulf and that the poem Andreas was written by Cynewulf—two longstanding questions of English literary history.

    • Leonard Neidorf
    • , Madison S. Krieger
    • , Michelle Yakubek
    • , Pramit Chaudhuri
    •  & Joseph P. Dexter
  • Letter |

    Data from a cohort of US and UK adolescents reveal that genetic and neighbourhood risks for early pregnancy and educational attainment are correlated, but find a weak or no correlation between risks for obesity or schizophrenia.

    • Daniel W. Belsky
    • , Avshalom Caspi
    • , Louise Arseneault
    • , David L. Corcoran
    • , Benjamin W. Domingue
    • , Kathleen Mullan Harris
    • , Renate M. Houts
    • , Jonathan S. Mill
    • , Terrie E. Moffitt
    • , Joseph Prinz
    • , Karen Sugden
    • , Jasmin Wertz
    • , Benjamin Williams
    •  & Candice L. Odgers
  • Letter |

    Kobayashi et al. show that when options are defined by multiple attributes, people are curious about individual attributes regardless of the uncertainty of the total outcome, revealing a distinct type of anticipatory utility that shapes curiosity.

    • Kenji Kobayashi
    • , Silvio Ravaioli
    • , Adrien Baranès
    • , Michael Woodford
    •  & Jacqueline Gottlieb
  • Article |

    Simple choices are biased by looking behaviour. This work investigates individual differences in this gaze bias across four datasets and shows that gaze biases are variable and that their strength reliably predicts differences in individuals’ choices.

    • Armin W. Thomas
    • , Felix Molter
    • , Ian Krajbich
    • , Hauke R. Heekeren
    •  & Peter N. C. Mohr
  • Article |

    People integrate information over time to make decisions, but they don’t do so optimally. Keung et al. show how distinct aspects of the pupil signal relate to distinct suboptimalities in perceptual decision-making.

    • Waitsang Keung
    • , Todd A. Hagen
    •  & Robert C. Wilson