Journal Club

Highlighting recent, timely papers selected by Academy member labs

Category Archives: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Social leverage makes great apes share more

Sharing is caring. But how much sharing seems fair? In a classical economics test of fairness called the Ultimatum Game, two individuals must agree on how to divide a pot of money. If I propose a split and you accept, … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Evolution | Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Frustrations can combust into a riot regardless of age, politics, or gender

The most common caricature of riots suggests criminal young men are the culprits. But a recent study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B suggests that is not necessarily the case. The study used a video game to incite virtual … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Social Sciences | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When listeners pay close attention to stories, their heart rates synchronize

  An international team of researchers has shown that when a group of people hear the same story or watch the same video, their heart rates tend to rise and fall in synch. This correlation of heart rates, described this … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Medical Sciences | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harmful social behaviors are the toughest to shift

Social norms changed dramatically during the pandemic. Six-foot distancing and mask wearing became de facto rules in some communities, while elsewhere, wearing a mask was seen as an invitation for harassment. A new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gossip drives social bonding and helps people learn

Oscar Wilde said the only thing worse than being talked about was not being talked about. Nevertheless, chit-chat about others has a dubious reputation. That’s unfair, say psychologists and social scientists, who argue that gossip is a useful communication tool, … Continue reading

Categories: Anthropology | Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Social Sciences | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Several brain regions help us anticipate what’s going to happen next

If you watch a movie clip on repeat, many areas of your brain begin to anticipate upcoming events onscreen, according to a recent study published in eLife. The first time you see the clip, your brain forms a distinctive neural … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friends appear to share patterns of brain activity

  Great minds think alike, so goes the saying. Greatness notwithstanding, a study in PNAS finds that the minds of friends do appear to share patterns of activity. “A lot of us have the intuition that our friends are kind … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Future choices may be guided by our memories of past ones

When it comes to making choices, past decisions may play a surprisingly large role. The traditional view of decision-making is that our choices are guided by what we remember about the outcomes of previous choices we’ve made. But in recent … Continue reading

Categories: Economic sciences | Journal Club | Neuroscience | Political Science | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

People who are likely to dismiss journalism as “fake news” tend to believe the world is predictable

The notion of “fake news” spread like wildfire in the United States after the 2016 election. Recent research in Psychological Science tried to determine what psychological factors drove this concept—generally defined as the suspicion that politically-biased news outlets produce deliberately … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Judging others based on the rewards they receive correlates with political leanings

Which employee deserves the highest salary? Should a professor receive tenure? Did my spouse do their fair share of the household chores? These types of questions all require people to pass judgment on the effort expended by others. According to … Continue reading

Categories: Journal Club | Neuroscience | Political Science | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dopamine-making neurons, an ongoing mystery, play a bigger role in reinforcing learning than in initiating action

Deep in the midbrain, one type of neuron has two crucial jobs when it comes to acting while anticipating a reward—a state also known as Pavlovian conditioning. Called dopaminergic (DA) neurons, they can link a signal, such as a sound … Continue reading

Categories: Animal Behavior | Cell Biology | Journal Club | Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment