Psychology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adult visual cortex is organized into regions that respond to categories such as faces and scenes, but it is unclear if this depends on experience. Here, authors measured brain activity in 4–6 month old infants looking at faces and scenes and find that their visual cortex is organized similarly to adults.

    • Ben Deen
    • , Hilary Richardson
    •  & Rebecca Saxe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chimpanzees appear helpful in some studies yet they do not usually share food, suggesting that they are prosocial when costs are low and goals are clear. Here, Tennie et al. show that chimpanzee helping behaviour might be a byproduct of task design and that these apes might not be as prosocial as supposed.

    • Claudio Tennie
    • , Keith Jensen
    •  & Josep Call
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Decision-making balances the benefits of additional information with the cost of time, but it is unclear whether humans adjust this balance within individual decisions. Here, authors show that we do make such adjustments to suit contextual demands and suggest that these are driven by modulation of neural gain.

    • Peter R. Murphy
    • , Evert Boonstra
    •  & Sander Nieuwenhuis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Perceiving objects as lifelike is an inferential process but whether it occurs quickly and how it applies to groups of objects is not well understood. Here the authors show that observers’ percepts of crowd lifelikeness are fast and represent the average of the individual objects comprising that crowd.

    • Allison Yamanashi Leib
    • , Anna Kosovicheva
    •  & David Whitney
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lab experiments have shown that people will punish violators of social norms, with the severity of punishment increasing with the degree of violation. Here, Balafoutas et al. show that, outside of the lab, larger violations are not punished more severely and are associated with a greater risk of reprisal.

    • Loukas Balafoutas
    • , Nikos Nikiforakis
    •  & Bettina Rockenbach
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have disagreed over whether efficient or inefficient network structures should be more effective in promoting group performance. Here, Barkoczi and Galesic demonstrate that which structure is superior depends on the social learning strategy used by individuals in the network.

    • Daniel Barkoczi
    •  & Mirta Galesic
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The human brain can efficiently retrieve information from long-term memory and use it to guide action but how the brain selects the most useful information in each case is unclear. Here the authors show that reinforcement learning mechanisms, based on expected value and prediction error fMRI signals in striatum, play a role in memory control processes guiding behavior.

    • Jason M. Scimeca
    • , Perri L. Katzman
    •  & David Badre
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The motor cortex executes responses based on sensory choices, but it is unknown whether it also impacts response selection. Here, Pape and Siegel show that motor cortex activity present before decision making predicts responses and that this activity is influenced by previous button-presses.

    • Anna-Antonia Pape
    •  & Markus Siegel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Decline in sensorimotor skills with age may be due to an overreliance on the prediction of the sensory consequences of one’s actions. Here the authors show that sensorimotor attenuation increases with age, and that this is associated with structural and functional changes in frontostriatal circuits.

    • Noham Wolpe
    • , James N. Ingram
    •  & James B. Rowe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans as well as many other species have the ability to perceive the number of items, numerosity, but the mechanism by which this is achieved is unclear. Here the authors provide strong evidence in support of a spontaneous perception of numerosity without reliance on density and area estimation.

    • Guido Marco Cicchini
    • , Giovanni Anobile
    •  & David C. Burr
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Past experiences and future predictions both shape our decisions. Here, the authors trained participants in a foraging task in which reward rates varied systematically over time and find the dACC tracks both recent and past reward rates, leading to opposing effects on decisions about whether to stay or leave a reward environment.

    • Marco K. Wittmann
    • , Nils Kolling
    •  & Matthew F. S. Rushworth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dispersal is key to establishing patterns of cooperation. Here, the authors show that social organization is associated with levels of cooperation in Sino-Tibetan populations with strikingly different dispersal patterns.

    • Jia-Jia Wu
    • , Ting Ji
    •  & Ruth Mace
  • Article |

    When individuals differ in their cooperative behaviour, it pays to take a partner’s reputation into account when deciding one's own levels of cooperation. Here the authors use game theory to analyse how this feeds back to change levels of cooperation as individuals change their reputation so as to change the behaviour of future partners.

    • John M. McNamara
    •  & Polly Doodson
  • Article |

    Connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the amygdala (AMY) is implicated in responses to stress and regulation of affect. Here, the authors show that stress is regulated by changes in PFC–AMY coherence, PFC oscillatory activity and AMY oscillatory activity across the 2–7 Hz frequency band.

    • Sunil Kumar
    • , Rainbo Hultman
    •  & Kafui Dzirasa