Psychology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Although the feeling of being stressed is ubiquitous and clinically significant, the underlying neural mechanisms are unclear. Using a novel predictive modeling approach, the authors show that functional hippocampal networks specifically and consistently predict the feeling of stress.

    • Elizabeth V. Goldfarb
    • , Monica D. Rosenberg
    • , Dongju Seo
    • , R. Todd Constable
    •  & Rajita Sinha
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Local participatory experiences can influence broader democratic attitudes and participation. Here, in two field experiments in US and China, the authors find that participatory work meetings led workers to be less authoritarian and more critical about societal authority and justice, and more willing to participate in political and social decision-making.

    • Sherry Jueyu Wu
    •  & Elizabeth Levy Paluck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People often ignore evidence that disconfirms their prior beliefs. Here, the authors investigate the underlying cognitive, computational and neuronal mechanisms of such confirmation bias, and show that high confidence induces a selective neural processing of choice-consistent information.

    • Max Rollwage
    • , Alisa Loosen
    • , Tobias U. Hauser
    • , Rani Moran
    • , Raymond J. Dolan
    •  & Stephen M. Fleming
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory training reshapes the brain functional network reorganization. Here, the authors demonstrate an increase of the whole-brain network segregation during the n-back task, accompanied by alterations in dynamic communication between the default mode system and task-positive systems.

    • Karolina Finc
    • , Kamil Bonna
    • , Xiaosong He
    • , David M. Lydon-Staley
    • , Simone Kühn
    • , Włodzisław Duch
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans explore the world by optimistically directing choices to less familiar options and by choosing more randomly when options are uncertain. Here, the authors show that these two exploration strategies rely on distinct uncertainty estimates represented in different parts of the prefrontal cortex.

    • Momchil S. Tomov
    • , Van Q. Truong
    • , Rohan A. Hundia
    •  & Samuel J. Gershman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans can easily uncover abstract associations. Here, the authors propose that higher-order associations arise from natural errors in learning and memory. They suggest that mental errors influence the humans’ representation of the world in significant and predictable ways.

    • Christopher W. Lynn
    • , Ari E. Kahn
    • , Nathaniel Nyema
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Divisive normalization is thought to be a ubiquitous computation in the brain, but has not been studied in decisions that require integrating evidence over time. Here, the authors show in humans that dynamic divisive normalization accounts for the uneven weighting of perceptual evidence over time.

    • Waitsang Keung
    • , Todd A. Hagen
    •  & Robert C. Wilson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People often prioritize their own interests, but also like to see themselves as moral. Here the authors show how distortions in memory might resolve this tension by demonstrating that people tend to remember being more generous in the past than they actually were.

    • Ryan W. Carlson
    • , Michel André Maréchal
    • , Bastiaan Oud
    • , Ernst Fehr
    •  & Molly J. Crockett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Conventional theory suggests that people’s confidence about a decision reflects their subjective probability that the decision was correct. By studying decisions with multiple alternatives, the authors show that confidence reports instead reflect the difference in probabilities between the chosen and the next-best alternative.

    • Hsin-Hung Li
    •  & Wei Ji Ma
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Visual cognition compensates for small changes in an object’s appearance to ensure its perceived continuity. We show that in situations with multiple objects, context features like color, temporal or spatial position are used as anchors to selectively integrate corresponding objects over time.

    • Cora Fischer
    • , Stefan Czoschke
    • , Benjamin Peters
    • , Benjamin Rahm
    • , Jochen Kaiser
    •  & Christoph Bledowski
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When a cue is provided, people can rapidly attend to a changing scene and remember how it looked right after the cue appeared, but if the scene changes gradually, there is a delay in what we remember. Here the authors model these effects as prolonged attentional engagement.

    • Chloe Callahan-Flintoft
    • , Alex O. Holcombe
    •  & Brad Wyble
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Feelings of confidence reflect the likelihood that decisions are correct. Here the authors show that confidence taps partially dissociable evidence from that used for perceptual decisions, and that, rather than passively monitoring, confidence controls the depth of sensory information processing.

    • Tarryn Balsdon
    • , Valentin Wyart
    •  & Pascal Mamassian
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In infants, superiority of semantic over episodic memory formation has been postulated. Here, authors show that both types of memory coexist in one-year-olds, with consolidation during sleep affecting whether an experienced event is recognized as a detailed episode or as general semantic knowledge.

    • Manuela Friedrich
    • , Matthias Mölle
    • , Angela D. Friederici
    •  & Jan Born
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human affect is shaped in part by whether desirable states are achieved under personal control. Here, the authors show that control beliefs affect happiness and pride, and how those effects relate to neural responses in the prefrontal cortex and behavioral preferences for exerting control.

    • David S. Stolz
    • , Laura Müller-Pinzler
    • , Sören Krach
    •  & Frieder M. Paulus
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previously only humans and the great apes have been shown to use probabilities to make predictions about uncertain events, and integrate social and physical information into their predictions. Here, the authors demonstrate these capacities in a parrot species, the kea.

    • Amalia P. M. Bastos
    •  & Alex H. Taylor
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The roots of psychopathology take shape during adverse parent-infant interactions, shown through infant attachment quality. Using rodents, the authors show that blunted infant cortical processing of the mother determines attachment quality through a stress hormone-dependent mechanism.

    • Maya Opendak
    • , Emma Theisen
    • , Anna Blomkvist
    • , Kaitlin Hollis
    • , Teresa Lind
    • , Emma Sarro
    • , Johan N. Lundström
    • , Nim Tottenham
    • , Mary Dozier
    • , Donald A. Wilson
    •  & Regina M. Sullivan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How the brain represents 3D space is poorly understood but important for understanding spatial cognition. Here the authors record place cells in rats climbing through a 3D environment and report that they represent this space with 3D fields that are elongated along the axes of the environment and encode the vertical dimension less accurately.

    • Roddy M. Grieves
    • , Selim Jedidi-Ayoub
    • , Karyna Mishchanchuk
    • , Anyi Liu
    • , Sophie Renaudineau
    •  & Kate J. Jeffery
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Individuals within social networks rarely observe the network as a whole; rather, their observations are limited to their social circles. Here we show that network structure can distort observations, making a trait appear far more common within many social circles than it is in the network as a whole.

    • Nazanin Alipourfard
    • , Buddhika Nettasinghe
    • , Andrés Abeliuk
    • , Vikram Krishnamurthy
    •  & Kristina Lerman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People often fail to perceive the second of two brief visual targets, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB). Here the authors modelled behaviour and brain activity to show that the AB arises from short- and long-range interactions between representations of elementary visual features.

    • Matthew F. Tang
    • , Lucy Ford
    • , Ehsan Arabzadeh
    • , James T. Enns
    • , Troy A. W. Visser
    •  & Jason B. Mattingley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Beliefs that justify the economic system buffer against the aversive emotional impact of inequality. Here the authors show that system-justifying economic ideology predicts dampened negativity, measured using self-reported and physiological responses, to manifestations of poverty and wealth.

    • Shahrzad Goudarzi
    • , Ruthie Pliskin
    • , John T. Jost
    •  & Eric D. Knowles
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There has been much concern about the “replication crisis” in psychology and other disciplines. Here the authors show that an efficient solution to the crisis would not insist on replication before publication, and would instead encourage publication before replication, with the findings marked as preliminary.

    • Stephan Lewandowsky
    •  & Klaus Oberauer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient learning is akin to goal-directed dimensionality reduction, in which relevant information is highlighted and irrelevant input is ignored. Here, the authors show that ventromedial prefrontal cortex uniquely supports such learning by compressing neural codes to represent goal-specific information.

    • Michael L. Mack
    • , Alison R. Preston
    •  & Bradley C. Love
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Early adversity may sensitize people to the effects of later stress, amplifying psychopathology risk. Here, the authors show this stress sensitization effect for adolescents who experienced prolonged institutional deprivation in childhood, but not those assigned to foster care intervention.

    • Mark Wade
    • , Charles H. Zeanah
    • , Nathan A. Fox
    • , Florin Tibu
    • , Laura E. Ciolan
    •  & Charles A. Nelson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The brain dynamically arbitrates between two model-based and model-free reinforcement learning (RL). Here, the authors show that participants tended to increase model-based control in response to increasing task complexity, but resorted to model-free when both uncertainty and task complexity were high.

    • Dongjae Kim
    • , Geon Yeong Park
    • , John P. O′Doherty
    •  & Sang Wan Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Household income is used as a marker of socioeconomic position, a trait that is associated with better physical and mental health. Here, Hill et al. report a genome-wide association study for household income in the UK and explore its relationship with intelligence in post-GWAS analyses including Mendelian randomization.

    • W. David Hill
    • , Neil M. Davies
    • , Stuart J. Ritchie
    • , Nathan G. Skene
    • , Julien Bryois
    • , Steven Bell
    • , Emanuele Di Angelantonio
    • , David J. Roberts
    • , Shen Xueyi
    • , Gail Davies
    • , David C. M. Liewald
    • , David J. Porteous
    • , Caroline Hayward
    • , Adam S. Butterworth
    • , Andrew M. McIntosh
    • , Catharine R. Gale
    •  & Ian J. Deary
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can easily extract task-relevant gist features from visual scenes and hold those features in working memory. Here, the authors show that this gist information is gradually abstracted from posterior to anterior regions of the brain and stably represented at the anterior region.

    • Byung-Il Oh
    • , Yee-Joon Kim
    •  & Min-Suk Kang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The visual word form area (VWFA) is a brain region associated with written language, but it has also been linked to visuospatial attention. Here, the authors reveal distinct structural and functional circuits linking VWFA with language and attention networks, and demonstrate that these circuits separately predict language and attention abilities.

    • Lang Chen
    • , Demian Wassermann
    • , Daniel A. Abrams
    • , John Kochalka
    • , Guillermo Gallardo-Diez
    •  & Vinod Menon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The fusiform face area and parahippocampal place area respond to face and scene stimuli respectively. Here, the authors show using fMRI that these brain areas are also preferentially activated by eye movements associated with looking at faces and scenes even when no images are shown.

    • Lihui Wang
    • , Florian Baumgartner
    • , Falko R. Kaule
    • , Michael Hanke
    •  & Stefan Pollmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Because our immediate observations are often ambiguous, we must use the context (prior beliefs) to guide inference, but the context may also be uncertain. Here, the authors show that humans can accurately estimate the reliability of the context and combine it with sensory uncertainty to form their decisions and estimate confidence.

    • Philipp Schustek
    • , Alexandre Hyafil
    •  & Rubén Moreno-Bote
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Eye‐tracking is a valuable tool in cognitive science for measuring how attention is directed during visual scene exploration. Here, the authors introduce a new, touchscreen-based method that accomplishes the same goal via tracking finger movements.

    • Guillaume Lio
    • , Roberta Fadda
    • , Giuseppe Doneddu
    • , Jean‐René Duhamel
    •  & Angela Sirigu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Interference from overlapping memories can cause forgetting. Here, the authors show using fMRI decoding approaches that spontaneous reactivation of older memories during new encoding leads to integration, and less interference, between overlapping items.

    • Avi J. H. Chanales
    • , Nicole M. Dudukovic
    • , Franziska R. Richter
    •  & Brice A. Kuhl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The brain mechanisms underlying cooperation within groups, while balancing individual and collective interests, are poorly understood. Here, the authors identify the neurocomputations engaged in social dilemmas requiring strategic decisions during repeated social interactions in groups.

    • Seongmin A. Park
    • , Mariateresa Sestito
    • , Erie D. Boorman
    •  & Jean-Claude Dreher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    From observational studies, alcohol consumption behaviours are known to be correlated in spouses. Here, Howe et al. use partners’ genotypic information in a Mendelian randomization framework and show that a SNP in the ADH1B gene associates with partner’s alcohol consumption, suggesting that alcohol consumption affects mate choice.

    • Laurence J. Howe
    • , Daniel J. Lawson
    • , Neil M. Davies
    • , Beate St. Pourcain
    • , Sarah J. Lewis
    • , George Davey Smith
    •  & Gibran Hemani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    We tend to be more trusting of people who we know to be honest. Here, the authors show using fMRI that honesty-based trustworthiness is represented in the posterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus, and predicts subsequent trust decisions.

    • Gabriele Bellucci
    • , Felix Molter
    •  & Soyoung Q. Park
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using agent-based models of a problem-solving task in a network, the authors show that clustering people of similar knowledge maintains solution diversity and increases long run system collective performance. Clustering those with similar abilities, however, lowers solution diversity and performance.

    • Charles J. Gomez
    •  & David M. J. Lazer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Is there an optimum difficulty level for training? In this paper, the authors show that for the widely-used class of stochastic gradient-descent based learning algorithms, learning is fastest when the accuracy during training is 85%.

    • Robert C. Wilson
    • , Amitai Shenhav
    • , Mark Straccia
    •  & Jonathan D. Cohen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Decision-making research has confounded the reward value of options with their goal-congruency, as the task goal was always to pick the most rewarding option. Here, authors separately asked participants to select the least rewarding of a set of options, revealing a dominant role for goal congruency.

    • Romy Frömer
    • , Carolyn K. Dean Wolf
    •  & Amitai Shenhav
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In order to perceive moving or changing objects, sensory information must be integrated over time. Here, using a visual sequential metacontrast paradigm, the authors show that integration occurs only when subsequent stimuli are presented within a discrete window of time after the initial stimulus.

    • Leila Drissi-Daoudi
    • , Adrien Doerig
    •  & Michael H. Herzog
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Late childhood is an important period for the development of inhibitory control underlying self-regulation and impulse control behavior. Here, the authors identify brain mechanisms and functional cortical-basal ganglia circuits that predict inhibitory control in children.

    • Weidong Cai
    • , Katherine Duberg
    • , Aarthi Padmanabhan
    • , Rachel Rehert
    • , Travis Bradley
    • , Victor Carrion
    •  & Vinod Menon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have suggested that being hungry causes people to make more selfish and less prosocial decisions. Here, the authors carried out a series of studies to test this claim and found that the effect of acute hunger was very weak at best.

    • Jan A. Häusser
    • , Christina Stahlecker
    • , Andreas Mojzisch
    • , Johannes Leder
    • , Paul A. M. Van Lange
    •  & Nadira S. Faber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How do liberals and conservatives differ in their expression of compassion and moral concern? The authors show that conservatives tend to express concern toward smaller, more well-defined, and less permeable social circles, while liberals express concern toward larger, less well-defined, and more permeable social circles.

    • Adam Waytz
    • , Ravi Iyer
    • , Liane Young
    • , Jonathan Haidt
    •  & Jesse Graham
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory involves a fronto-parietal brain network, but how the parts of this network are coordinated is unclear. Here, the authors show that fast brain activity at posterior sites is nested into prefrontal slow brain waves, with cognitive demand determining the slow wave phase involved.

    • B. Berger
    • , B. Griesmayr
    • , T. Minarik
    • , A. L. Biel
    • , D. Pinal
    • , A. Sterr
    •  & P. Sauseng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sense of agency (SoA) refers to the experience that one's own actions caused an external event. Here, the authors present a model of SoA in terms of optimal Bayesian cue integration taking into account reliability of action and outcome sensory signals and judging if the action caused the outcome.

    • Roberto Legaspi
    •  & Taro Toyoizumi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Our experience of pain can be affected by our expectations about how much pain we will feel. Here, the authors show that both social information-driven expectations, and those based on personal experience, are both able to modulate pain, but by different neural pathways.

    • Leonie Koban
    • , Marieke Jepma
    • , Marina López-Solà
    •  & Tor D. Wager
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Females tend to perform poorer than males on math and science tests, but better on verbal reading tests. Here, by analysing performance during a cognitive test, the authors provide evidence that females are better able to sustain their performance during a test across all of these topics.

    • Pau Balart
    •  & Matthijs Oosterveen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Questions related to human altruism are often studied through self-reported behavior or by measuring behavior in laboratory experiments. Here, the authors examine real-world prosocial behavior using charitable donations made online.

    • Matthew R. Sisco
    •  & Elke U. Weber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Primary visual cortical neurons exhibit diverse responses to visual stimuli yet how these signals are integrated during visual perception is not well understood. Here, the authors show that optogenetic stimulation of neurons situated near the visually‐driven population leads to improved orientation detection in monkeys through changes in correlated variability.

    • Ariana R. Andrei
    • , Sorin Pojoga
    • , Roger Janz
    •  & Valentin Dragoi