Psychology

  • 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

    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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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
    •  & 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

    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
    •  & 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
    •  & Jesse Graham
  • 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

    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
    •  & Valentin Dragoi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Math and reading have shared cognitive components; here authors examined what are shared and dissociated neural substrates of these tasks. They find that dissociated regions and white matter sub-bundles within fascicles support adding and reading, suggesting parallel processing in the brain.

    • Mareike Grotheer
    • , Zonglei Zhen
    •  & Kalanit Grill-Spector
  • Article
    | Open Access

    By examining the organization of bird song and human speech, the authors show that the two types of communication signals have similar sequential structures, following both hierarchical and Markovian organization.

    • Tim Sainburg
    • , Brad Theilman
    •  & Timothy Q. Gentner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The empirical consequences of human explorative strategies are not fully understood. Here the authors find that during undisturbed conditions, more-explorative vessels gained no performance advantage while during a major disturbance event, explorers benefited significantly from less-impacted revenues and were also more likely to continue fishing.

    • Shay O’Farrell
    • , James N. Sanchirico
    •  & Andrew Strelcheck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Higher educational attainment is positively associated with a number of health outcomes. Here, Sanderson et al. use multivariable Mendelian randomisation analysis to test whether the association of educational attainment with smoking behaviour is direct or indirectly mediated via general cognitive ability.

    • Eleanor Sanderson
    • , George Davey Smith
    •  & Marcus R. Munafò
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The visual system excels at segregating moving objects from their backgrounds, a key visual function hypothesized to be driven by suppressive centre-surround mechanisms. Here, the authors show that spatial suppression of background motion signals is critical for rapid segmentation of moving objects.

    • Duje Tadin
    • , Woon Ju Park
    •  & Randolph Blake
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can learn to identify a person based on their voice, despite variation in their voice. Here, the authors show that this ability relies on a statistical abstraction mechanism during which people form average-based representations of voices, even without prior exposure to the average.

    • Nadine Lavan
    • , Sarah Knight
    •  & Carolyn McGettigan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Scientific progress relies on integrating and building on existing knowledge. Here, the authors propose improving cumulative science by developing data-driven ontologies, and they apply this approach to understanding the construct of self-regulation.

    • Ian W. Eisenberg
    • , Patrick G. Bissett
    •  & Russell A. Poldrack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An individual’s pattern of resting state brain connectivity, as measured with fMRI, has been shown to predict cognitive and behavioral traits. Here, the authors show that different traits are predicted by different time-scales of resting state activity (dynamic vs. static).

    • Raphaël Liégeois
    • , Jingwei Li
    •  & B. T. Thomas Yeo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Social life requires us to store information about each person’s unique disposition. Here, the authors show that the brain represents people as the sums of the mental states that those people are believed to experience.

    • Mark A. Thornton
    • , Miriam E. Weaverdyck
    •  & Diana I. Tamir
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The perception of spatial patterns (form vision) is thought to rely on rod and cone cells in the retina. Here, the authors show that a third kind of retinal cell, melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells, can also detect form in humans, under particular conditions.

    • Annette E. Allen
    • , Franck P. Martial
    •  & Robert J. Lucas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Episodic memory retrieval is hypothesized to rely on hippocampal reinstatement of item-context associations which drives reinstatement of item information in cortex. Here, the authors confirm this sequence of events, using iEEG recordings from the human hippocampus and lateral temporal cortex.

    • D. Pacheco Estefan
    • , M. Sánchez-Fibla
    •  & P. F. M. J. Verschure