Social 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

    Cortical excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) imbalance is a feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, the authors show that FoxG1 regulates the formation of cortical GABAergic circuits affecting social behaviour during a specific postnatal time window in mouse models of ASD.

    • Goichi Miyoshi
    • , Yoshifumi Ueta
    •  & Mariko Miyata
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aggression in females is understudied in model organisms. Here, the authors establish a model of enhanced aggression in virgin female rats and show that oxytocin and vasopressin systems differentially modulate aggression in distinct neuronal populations of the lateral septum of female rats.

    • Vinícius Elias de Moura Oliveira
    • , Michael Lukas
    •  & Inga D. Neumann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The causes and consequences of social intelligence are challenging to establish. A study on wild cleaner fish reports that large forebrains enable individuals to score higher in a social competence test, suggesting forebrain size is important for complex social decision-making.

    • Zegni Triki
    • , Yasmin Emery
    •  & Redouan Bshary
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    The social intelligence hypothesis predicts that social organisms tend to be more intelligent because within-group interactions drive cognitive evolution. Here, authors propose that conspecific outsiders can be just as important in selecting for sophisticated cognitive adaptations.

    • Benjamin J. Ashton
    • , Patrick Kennedy
    •  & Andrew N. Radford
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In Old World primates, socially relevant face processing is accomplished via a distributed functional network including specialized patches in the frontal cortex. Here, the authors demonstrate a similar network in frontal cortex of New World marmoset monkeys, suggesting inheritance from a common ancestor.

    • David J. Schaeffer
    • , Janahan Selvanayagam
    •  & Stefan Everling
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Living in groups allows animals to decrease defenses, enabling other behaviors, but the mechanisms of safety in numbers are unknown. The authors show that fruit flies regulate freezing behavior as a function of group size and identify motion by others, and neurons that detect it, as key to this process.

    • Clara H. Ferreira
    •  & Marta A. Moita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Kinship behavior in rodents has been documented in the laboratory setting but the neural mechanisms that mediate kinship behavior are not known. Here, the authors show that the lateral septum has a key role in organizing mammalian kinship behavior.

    • Ann M. Clemens
    • , Hong Wang
    •  & Michael Brecht
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Isolation during critical periods of development prevents development of normal social behaviours in mice, and this is thought to involve the prefrontal cortex. Here, the authors identify an activation pattern in parvalbumin-positive interneurons in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex that when activated promotes sociability behaviours in mice.

    • Lucy K. Bicks
    • , Kazuhiko Yamamuro
    •  & Hirofumi Morishita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In vivo recordings of free-moving Drosophila neural activity are limited to clearly-separated flies in a stable focal plane. Here the authors improved on their Flyception imaging system to remove these constraints, and image neural activity in the male fly brain during various stages of the mating sequence.

    • Dhruv Grover
    • , Takeo Katsuki
    •  & Ralph J. Greenspan
  • 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

    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

    The fish Astyanax mexicanus has divergent cave and river-dwelling eco-morphotypes. Here, Hyacinthe et al. show that cave and river fish communicate sonically, but that the sounds produced and the responses elicited in the two morphs depend differently on the social and behavioral context.

    • Carole Hyacinthe
    • , Joël Attia
    •  & Sylvie Rétaux
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bats are long-lived animals that can produce a complex vocabulary of social communication calls. Here, the authors show that even in adulthood, bats retain the ability to adaptively introduce long-term modifications to their vocalizations, showing persistent vocal plasticity.

    • Daria Genzel
    • , Janki Desai
    •  & Michael M. Yartsev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    What is the function of color vision? Here, the authors show that when retinal mechanisms of color are impaired, memory has a paradoxical impact on color appearance that is selective for faces, providing evidence that color contributes to face encoding and social communication.

    • Maryam Hasantash
    • , Rosa Lafer-Sousa
    •  & Bevil R. Conway
  • 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 brain can represent the mental states of others, as well as those of the self. Here, the authors show that social brain manifests more distinct activity patterns when thinking about one's own states, compared to those of others, suggesting that we represent our own mind with greater granularity.

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

    Game theory typically models strategic human behavior using scenarios with decision constraints that poorly represent real-world social interactions. Here, the authors show it is possible to model dynamic, real-world strategic interactions using Bayesian and reinforcement learning principles.

    • Kelsey R. McDonald
    • , William F. Broderick
    •  & John M. Pearson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    GPRASP2 plays a role in trafficking of GPCRs and mutations in this gene have been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders. Here the authors study the role of Gprasp2 in the CNS and show that it regulates the surface availability of mGluR5 receptors and that knockout mice for this protein show autistic-like behavioural abnormalities.

    • Mohamed Edfawy
    • , Joana R. Guedes
    •  & João Peça
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Although the CA2 region of the hippocampus has been implicated in social memory, its precise role has been unclear. Here, the authors show that the dorsal subregion of CA2 is required for the encoding, consolidation and recall of social memory through a circuit linking it to ventral CA1.

    • Torcato Meira
    • , Felix Leroy
    •  & Steven A. Siegelbaum
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An individual’s social network—their friends, family, and acquaintances—is important for their health, but existing tools for assessing social networks have limitations. Here, the authors introduce a quantitative social network assessment tool on a secure open-source web platform and show its utility in a nation-wide study.

    • Amar Dhand
    • , Charles C. White
    •  & Philip L. De Jager
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Loneliness markedly increases mortality and morbidity, yet the factors triggering loneliness remain largely unknown. This study shows that sleep loss leads to a neurobehavioral phenotype of human social separation and loneliness, one that is transmittable to non-sleep-deprived individuals.

    • Eti Ben Simon
    •  & Matthew P. Walker
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have alteration in social and novelty behaviors. Here, Bellone and colleagues show that chemogenetic inhibition of mouse dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area can blunt exploration towards unfamiliar conspecifics, and that these behavioral deficits are recapitulated in mice lacking neuroligin3 gene product.

    • Sebastiano Bariselli
    • , Hanna Hörnberg
    •  & Camilla Bellone
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Individual animals differ in behavioral traits, but the mechanisms underlying individuation are unclear. Here, the authors show that mice living in a ‘city’ develop individual behavior differences, associated with changes in dopamine cell firing, that can be reversed on moving them to a different social environment.

    • N. Torquet
    • , F. Marti
    •  & P. Faure
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Little is known about the genetic determinants of social isolation and loneliness despite their well-established importance for health. Here, using multi-trait GWAS, Day et al. identify 15 genomic loci for loneliness and further show a bidirectional causal relationship between BMI and loneliness by MR.

    • Felix R. Day
    • , Ken K. Ong
    •  & John R. B. Perry
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans give and receive social influence—e.g. advice—in many situations, but it is not known whether social influence is a reciprocal process, like trade. Here, the authors show that people are more likely to follow a partner's advice if that partner has previously complied with their advice.

    • Ali Mahmoodi
    • , Bahador Bahrami
    •  & Carsten Mehring
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ambiguous uncertainty refers to situations where the likelihood of specific outcomes are not known. Here, the authors show that people tolerant to ambiguous uncertainty are more likely to make costly decisions to cooperate with or trust others.

    • Marc-Lluís Vives
    •  & Oriel FeldmanHall
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How do social insect colonies regulate tasks after the developmental stage and in response to changing environments? Here, Crall et al. use automated individual tracking to reveal that task switching after a major colony disturbance helps to maintain collective foraging performance in bumble bees.

    • James D. Crall
    • , Nick Gravish
    •  & Stacey A. Combes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Migratory locusts shift between aggregating together during gregarious phases and living individually during solitary phases. Here, the authors find that the D1-like dopamine receptor regulates the olfactory attraction underlying this behavioral switch via microRNA-9a and adenylyl cyclase.

    • Xiaojiao Guo
    • , Zongyuan Ma
    •  & Le Kang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Defensive behavioral responses can be triggered by predator-released odors. Here, the authors identified the relevant Pristionchus pacificus-released sulfolipid molecules and dissected the neural circuits underlying C. elegans response to this predator.

    • Zheng Liu
    • , Maro J. Kariya
    •  & Sreekanth H. Chalasani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Oxytocin modulates social behaviours in mammals. Here the authors demonstrate that observational fear, a measure of empathy-like behaviour in rodents, is modulated by oxytocin.

    • Marc T. Pisansky
    • , Leah R. Hanson
    •  & Jonathan C. Gewirtz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While oxytocin is known to be critical for social recognition, the functions of oxytocin receptors (Oxtrs) in the hippocampus are not known. This study shows that Oxtrs in anterior dentate gyrus and CA2/CA3 pyramidal cells recruit population-based coding to mediate discrimination of social stimuli.

    • Tara Raam
    • , Kathleen M. McAvoy
    •  & Amar Sahay
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Resolving conflict in an orderly way is beneficial, but it is unclear whether non-human animals make and observe such rules. Here, authors show that mice spontaneously develop and observe such rules, thereby increasing their total, individual reward as well as the reward equity with other mice.

    • Il-Hwan Choe
    • , Junweon Byun
    •  & Hee-Sup Shin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People often assume that other people share their preferences, but how exactly this bias manifests itself in learning and decision-making is unclear. Here, authors show that a person's own preferences influence learning in both social and non-social situations, and that this bias improves performance.

    • Tor Tarantola
    • , Dharshan Kumaran
    •  & Benedetto De Martino
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) mediate the interactions between individuals in eusocial insects, but the sensory receptors for CHCs are unclear. Here the authors show that in ants such as H. saltator, the 9-exon subfamily of odorant receptors (HsOrs) responds to CHCs, and ectopic expression of HsOrs in Drosophila neurons imparts responsiveness to CHCs.

    • Gregory M. Pask
    • , Jesse D. Slone
    •  & Anandasankar Ray