Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Journal Club: Tracing light’s effect on mood and learning in mice from the eye to deep within the brain

To the mammalian eye, light offers more than just sight. “Light is so important for many innate functions,” says neuroscientist Samer Hattar of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “We really don’t appreciate the importance of light in our … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Attention may be at the root of confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is a pervasive phenomenon. Whether it’s a news article or an additional piece of scientific data, people tend to interpret new information as evidence confirming their prior beliefs—even if it actually doesn’t. “People have been aware of this … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Canines remember who cooperates, suggesting principles similar to those seen in human interaction

Human cooperation often comes down to one key understanding: You help me, I’ll help you. Social animals, including dogs, also help others, even nonrelatives. But many scientists assume that animal cooperation is a different breed. They see animals as less … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Study dissects stereotypes, looking to understand their roots and ways to break them down

A stereotype, put simply, is a belief about a group. But for psychology professor Andrei Cimpian of New York University, that definition doesn’t have sufficient nuance. To understand what a stereotype truly is, he says, we need to understand its … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Tracking memories in fruit fly brains

Memories help animals make predictions. A honeybee may remember that the smell of orange blossoms means nectar is nearby. But sometimes memories require updating. “If you know that your fridge is a good source of food, and you go to … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Influence of Peers on Gender Identity Development

Middle school or junior high school is an intense time for many kids. There are many social pressures and plenty of confusion about how to navigate them. Friends exert a strong influence on their peers, including in matters of gender … Continue reading

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Journal Club: How the principles of principals affect student values

Kids go to school to study math, science, literature, and other subjects. But at least since the time of Plato, philosophers and others have highlighted the importance of educational institutions in shaping the values of students, who will be tomorrow’s … Continue reading

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Journal Club: How your body feels influences your confidence levels

Despite living in a world filled with uncertainty, people are generally not constantly paralyzed by doubt, but instead feel confident about their choices. Previous research often assumed that this feeling of confidence was based solely on the availability of high-caliber … Continue reading

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Journal Club: How much you think you understand depends on what you believe others understand

Knowing that experts understand something is enough to make lay persons think they, too, have better grasped a concept, according to a September 26 paper in the journal Psychological Science. Cognitive scientist Steven Sloman, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Childhood adversities correlated with shortened telomeres, poorer health later in life

Stressful experiences during youth seem to leave a mark on a person’s genome decades later, in the form of withered chromosomal caps. As reported in PNAS, childhood stress correlates with increased odds to have shortened telomeres, the chromosome tips that … Continue reading

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