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Volume 8 Issue 5, May 2024

Chimpanzee social learning

Is know-how copying a uniquely human capacity? Van Leeuwen and colleagues demonstrate that chimpanzees use social learning to acquire a skill that they failed to innovate, which suggests that chimpanzees — like humans — use know-how copying to expand their skill set.

See Van Leeuwen et al.

Image: Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage and Clara Dubois. Cover design: Bethany Vukomanovic

Comment & Opinion

  • As an international student and academic, Thuy-vy T. Nguyen experienced the importance of culturally relevant mentoring first hand. In this World View, she shares her learnings for mentors and mentees.

    • Thuy-vy T. Nguyen
    World View


  • We all care about effect sizes. Yet, traditional ways of evaluating them (P < 0.05 and generic benchmarks) are failing us. We propose two paths forward: setting better, contextualized benchmarks or — more radically — letting go of benchmarks altogether. Both paths point to adjusted expectations, more detailed reporting and slow science.

    • Friedrich M. Götz
    • Samuel D. Gosling
    • Peter J. Rentfrow
  • The combination of general anaesthesia and neuroimaging holds unique potential for catalysing integrative and translational discovery about human brains and consciousness. By spanning molecular, cognitive and clinical neuroscience, anaesthesia provides a bridge from molecules to mind across species.

    • Andrea I. Luppi
  • Large language models can generate sophisticated text or code with little input from a user, which has the potential to impoverish our own writing and thinking skills. We need to understand the effect of this technology on our cognition and to decide whether this is what we want.

    • Richard Heersmink
  • Researchers have a wide variety of choices when it comes to careers. Often, post-PhD, we leave academic research for industry. But it is also possible to transition back, when done carefully. In this how-to, I outline how to transition between industry and academic research and vice versa.

    • Cassandra L. Jacobs
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News & Views

  • Financial incentives may be offered for risky but potentially life-saving actions, such as donating organs and participation in medical trials. It has been argued that such incentives could distort decision making and lead people to act against their own best interest. However, experimental evidence now suggests that higher financial incentives do not cause harm.

    • Linda Thunström
    News & Views
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Research Briefings

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