Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Oxytocin can increase lying for the benefit of the group

Oxytocin is a hormone often thought of as a “love drug,” linked as it is with feel-good emotions such as trust, empathy and generosity. Increasingly, however, scientists find that oxytocin has a dark side — for example, it can spur … Continue reading

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False memories can come from beneficial brain processes

Memories of experiences are strengthened when we are frequently reminded of them, a key process known as memory reactivation. Although this phenomenon helps stabilize and update memories, it can also introduce errors, leading to false memories. Using brain scans, researchers … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Leave a comment

Sugar’s benefits for willpower depend on your beliefs

Past research found eating sugar could improve self-control. Now research suggests this effect only holds true if people think willpower is a limited and easily depleted resource. For those who believe willpower is plentiful, sugar had no benefits, findings detailed … Continue reading

Categories: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | 1 Comment

An ad a day keeps the doctor away

During the commercial break of your favorite television show, the advertisements that play out in front of you don’t just influence your opinions of companies and shopping habits; the ads also could affect how your body responds to drugs. Watching … Continue reading

Categories: Medical Sciences | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | 1 Comment

Emotions link sound-color associations

Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky literally saw sounds and heard colors. The artist is believed to have had synaesthesia, a harmless condition where people experience sounds, colors, or words simultaneously through several senses. Kandinsky used this gift to create what many … Continue reading

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Getting meaning out of the noise

As we go through the day, listening, reading, instant messaging with co-workers, we are constantly decoding sentences and constructing meaning from them. As we build meaning based on syntax and semantics, we are also, it seems, calculating how likely what … Continue reading

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Primed for language–Babies able to separate sound from emotion

As any parent knows, a laughing baby is a happy one, a crying baby is sad. A baby’s coos, squeals, and growls, however, are the soundtrack of many occasions. They may be bubbly, upset, or feeling just about average. This … Continue reading

Categories: Developmental Biology | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Leave a comment

Predicting cooperative behavior from genes

If only the fittest members of a species survive, then cooperative behavior doesn’t make sense. It is costly to individuals and benefits others. Over the past few years, however, many researchers have shown how cooperative behavior plays nicely with evolutionary … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | Genetics | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment