Human behaviour

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans adapt decision strategies in response to environmental demands. Here the authors show that decisions in a virtual foraging task can be modelled based on perceived patch value, which includes reward, competition and threat, and is associated with activity in ventromedial prefrontal and medial cingulate cortices.

    • Brian Silston
    • , Toby Wise
    •  & Dean Mobbs
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Autism is characterized by diverse symptoms, including impaired social skills, motor and perceptual atypicalities. Here, using computational modelling, the authors show that impaired synchronization ability in autism stems from reduced error correction, supporting a slow-updating account of autism.

    • Gal Vishne
    • , Nori Jacoby
    •  & Merav Ahissar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When reading, we extract information about upcoming words before we saccade to them. Here the authors provide insights on the neural mechanisms supporting this previewing process using MEG data, and show an association between previewing effects and reading speed.

    • Yali Pan
    • , Steven Frisson
    •  & Ole Jensen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When two memories are similar, their encoding and retrieval can be disrupted by each other. Here the authors show that memory interference is resolved through abrupt remapping of activity patterns in the human hippocampal CA3 and dentate gyrus.

    • Guo Wanjia
    • , Serra E. Favila
    •  & Brice A. Kuhl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Making a decision requires one to differentiate between choice options, committing to one and leaving the other behind. Here, the authors show that decision-making paradoxically binds options together, such that the outcome of the choice ends up changing the value of both the chosen and the unchosen options, in opposite directions.

    • Natalie Biderman
    •  & Daphna Shohamy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The willingness to exert effort into demanding tasks often declines over time through fatigue. Here the authors provide a computational account of the moment-to-moment dynamics of fatigue and its impact on effort-based choices, and reveal the neural mechanisms that underlie such computations.

    • Tanja Müller
    • , Miriam C. Klein-Flügge
    •  & Matthew A. J. Apps
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can search for memories based on their content or context, defined as when and where they were formed. Here, the authors use direct brain recordings to provide evidence in line with the idea that separable neural systems retrieve these two types of information and predict whether recall is organized by time or content.

    • James E. Kragel
    • , Youssef Ezzyat
    •  & Michael J. Kahana
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can infer unobserved causes of perceptual data (e.g. the contents of a box from the sound made by shaking it). Here the authors show that children compare what they hear with what they would have heard given other causes, and explore longer when the heard and imagined sounds are hard to discriminate.

    • Max H. Siegel
    • , Rachel W. Magid
    •  & Laura E. Schulz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors show that an integrative thinking process linked philosophically to wisdom may reduce group polarization. Specifically, wise reasoning improves intergroup attitudes and behavior even at time of heightened societal conflicts.

    • Justin P. Brienza
    • , Franki Y. H. Kung
    •  & Melody M. Chao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans consciously experience their surrounding environment and can reflect upon it. Here, the authors use single-neuron recordings, electroencephalographic recordings, and computational methods to show that both conscious experience and self-reflection are related to a common mechanism of evidence accumulation in the posterior parietal cortex.

    • Michael Pereira
    • , Pierre Megevand
    •  & Nathan Faivre
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Binding moral values help regulate social behavior in groups and interpersonal relationships. Here, the authors show that the mere presence of close others activates those values in the mind.

    • Daniel A. Yudkin
    • , Ana P. Gantman
    •  & Jordi Quoidbach
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How is neural processing adjusted when people experience uncertainty about the relevance of a stimulus feature? Here, the authors provide evidence suggesting that heightened uncertainty shifts cortical networks from a rhythmic to an asynchronous (“excited”) state and that the thalamus is central for such uncertainty-related shifts.

    • Julian Q. Kosciessa
    • , Ulman Lindenberger
    •  & Douglas D. Garrett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Making sense of the world around us often requires flexible access to information from both semantic and episodic memory systems. Here, the authors show that controlled retrieval from functionally distinct long-term memory stores is supported by shared neural processes in the human brain.

    • Deniz Vatansever
    • , Jonathan Smallwood
    •  & Elizabeth Jefferies
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, the authors distinguish between changes of mind about perceptual vs. intentional decisions. A Hierarchical Attractor Network Model is proposed in which human voluntary actions emerge from continuous and dynamic integration of higher-order intentions with sensory evidence and motor costs.

    • Anne Löffler
    • , Anastasia Sylaidi
    •  & Patrick Haggard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Effective use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals is essential to help slow the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Here, Singleton et al. present a randomised controlled trial demonstrating the efficacy of social norm messaging to reduce antibiotic prescription frequency in veterinary surgeries.

    • David A. Singleton
    • , Angela Rayner
    •  & Gina L. Pinchbeck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Little is known about people’s preferred responses to norm violations across countries. Here, in a study of 57 countries, the authors highlight cultural similarities and differences in people’s perception of the appropriateness of norm violations.

    • Kimmo Eriksson
    • , Pontus Strimling
    •  & Paul A. M. Van Lange
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite the popularity of social media, the psychological processes that drive people to engage in it remain poorly understood. The authors applied a computational modeling approach to data from multiple social media platforms to show that engagement can be explained by mechanisms of reward learning.

    • Björn Lindström
    • , Martin Bellander
    •  & David M. Amodio
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People only exert cognitive effort if they think the benefits outweigh the costs. Here, the authors show that people assess these benefits by considering expected rewards and how much their effort matters for obtaining those rewards, and then integrating these to determine how much effort to exert.

    • R. Frömer
    • , H. Lin
    •  & A. Shenhav
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While size exaggeration is common in the animal kingdom, Pisanski & Reby show that human listeners can detect deceptive vocal signals of people trying to sound bigger or smaller, and recalibrate their estimates accordingly, especially men judging the heights of other men, with implications for the evolution of vocal communication.

    • Katarzyna Pisanski
    •  & David Reby
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Performance on a cognitive reflection test correlates with a wide range of behaviours in survey studies. Here the authors investigate the relationship between cognitive reflection and some aspects of actual behaviour on social media.

    • Mohsen Mosleh
    • , Gordon Pennycook
    •  & David G. Rand
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The study reports that implicitly learned, statistically defined chunks of abstract visual shapes elicit similar object-based perceptual effects as images of true objects with visual boundaries do. This result links the emergence of object representations to implicit statistical learning mechanisms.

    • Gábor Lengyel
    • , Márton Nagy
    •  & József Fiser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There are multiple methods of clearing one’s mind of current thoughts. Here the authors use fMRI decoding to confirm the successful clearing of minds using different strategies, and show that these strategies have distinct neural signatures.

    • Hyojeong Kim
    • , Harry R. Smolker
    •  & Jarrod A. Lewis-Peacock
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When data is scant, logical reasoning can lead to knowledge acquisition by disclosing evidence otherwise not available. Here, the authors show that this logical route to knowledge is available to preverbal infants and can help them learn about the social world.

    • Nicolò Cesana-Arlotti
    • , Ágnes Melinda Kovács
    •  & Ernő Téglás
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether the brain processes different types of pain similarly or differently remains unknown. The authors show that an established neurologic pain signature responds to five different types of visceral and somatic pain; they also develop a new classifier that reliably discriminates between both pain modalities.

    • Lukas Van Oudenhove
    • , Philip A. Kragel
    •  & Tor D. Wager
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Theories of human categorization have traditionally been evaluated in the context of simple, low-dimensional stimuli. In this work, the authors use a large dataset of human behavior over 10,000 natural images to re-evaluate these theories, revealing interesting differences from previous results.

    • Ruairidh M. Battleday
    • , Joshua C. Peterson
    •  & Thomas L. Griffiths
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous research on the importance of prosociality is based on observations from WEIRD societies, questioning the generalizability of these findings. Here the authors present a global investigation of the relation between prosociality and labor market success and generalize the positive relation to a wide geographical context.

    • Fabian Kosse
    •  & Michela M. Tincani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cooperation among humans is threatened by the free-rider problem. Here the authors identify another challenge to human cooperation: self-reliance, the ability to solve shared problems individually. The experiment reveals that self-reliance crowds out cooperation and increases wealth inequality.

    • Jörg Gross
    • , Sonja Veistola
    •  & Eric Van Dijk
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It has been assumed that incongruence between individuals’ values and those of their country or region is distressing, but the evidence has been mixed. Using representative samples from 29 countries, the authors show that person-country and person-region value congruence predict six well-being outcomes.

    • Paul H. P. Hanel
    • , Uwe Wolfradt
    •  & Gregory R. Maio
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is often tempting for social media users to present themselves in an idealized way. Here, based on analyses of a large set of Facebook profiles together with a longitudinal experiment, the authors find evidence that more authentic self-expression may be psychologically beneficial, as it is related to greater well-being.

    • Erica R. Bailey
    • , Sandra C. Matz
    •  & Sheena S. Iyengar