Behavior

  • Science
    A study by the University of Exeter shows that staring at seagulls discourages them from stealing your chips. By placing a bag on the ground and then staring at herring gulls trying to sneak up for a free meal, the team found that stared at birds took longer than ones where the humans looked away.
  • Science
    We know baby birds communicate, often loudly, and mostly about food, but a new study suggests they can also communicate with each other while still in the egg. This method of communication influences the behavioral and physiological traits of newly-hatched chicks from the same clutch of eggs.
  • Science
    ​A new study, analyzing real-life incidents caught on CCTV, challenges the long-held proposition that bystanders are generally passive, and will not help others in situations of public assault. It found bystanders do intervene in the vast majority of violent incidents that unfold in public spaces.​
  • A study has uncovered associations between an infant’s gut microbiome composition at the age of 10 weeks, and the development of certain temperament traits at six months age. The research does not imply causation but adds to a growing body of evidence connecting gut bacteria with mood and behavior.
  • Two new research papers are shedding light on the fascinating relationship between inflammation and behavior, suggesting our immune system can play a significant role in both our motivation and decision-making abilities.
  • As MDMA sits on the precipice of being legally approved as clinical treatment for PTSD in the United States, a team of researchers from the University of Exeter set out to try to better understand what long-term effects the drug has on a person’s ability to emotionally empathize with others.
  • A global study has homed in on 12 specific genomic regions associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research reveals the genetic underpinnings of this highly heritable condition and suggests this discovery is only a small part of the genetic puzzle that makes up ADHD.
  • Science
    MDMA is anecdotally known to make people more open to empathetically interacting with those around them. However, a new study from King’s College London has revealed that while the drug may increase cooperative behavior, it does not make a person more naive to the influence of untrustworthy people.
  • ​In order to be an entrepreneur, it helps if you're not afraid of taking a risk or two. Well, a University of Colorado Boulder study indicates that if you lack the entrepreneurial spirit, it might help to become infected with a parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii.
  • Study of animal behavior is a slow process, with human observers spending years watching and classifying different actions. A team from Columbia University is determined to develop an easier, and more objective method using machine learning and algorithms often used for spam-filtering purposes.
  • ​Are human beings the only animals that will help other members of their species out, even if they don't know them? Not according to Jingzhi Tan, a postdoctoral associate in evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. He has observed wild bonobos being nice to bonobos that they don't know.
  • ​Guys who aren't so great at thinking things through can blame testosterone, according to new research that seems to backup the old stereotype of the hot-headed guy. A new study links the sex hormone to relying on "gut instincts" over self reflection and more deliberate, slow consideration.