Current Behaviour News and Events

Current Behaviour News and Events, Behaviour News Articles.
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The smell of cooperation
Despite their reputation, rats are surprisingly sociable and regularly help each other out. Researchers at the Universities of Göttingen, Bern and St Andrews have shown that a rat just has to smell another rat that is engaged in helpful behaviour to increase their own helpfulness. This is the first study to show that just the smell of a cooperating rat is enough to trigger a helpful response. Research appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (2020-11-25)

Aim to exceed weekly recommended physical activity level to offset health harms of prolonged sitting
The health harms associated with prolonged sitting can be offset by exceeding weekly recommended physical activity levels, says the World Health Organization (WHO) in new global guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior [1], published in a special dedicated issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (2020-11-25)

Middle Stone Age populations repeatedly occupied West African coast
In a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, researchers from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), and the University of Sheffield, reveal evidence of Middle Stone Age occupations of the West African coast. Ranging from 62 to 25 thousand years ago, the largest well-dated assemblages from the region clearly document technological continuity across almost 40,000 years in West Africa. (2020-11-20)

New insights into memristive devices by combining incipient ferroelectrics and graphene
Scientists are working to create neuromorphic computers, with a design based on the human brain. A crucial component is a memristive device, the resistance of which depends on the history of the device - just like the response of our neurons depends on previous input. Materials scientists from the University of Groningen analysed the behaviour of strontium titanium oxide, a platform material for memristor research and used the 2D material graphene to probe it. (2020-11-20)

Surprises in 'active' aging
Aging is a process that affects not only living beings. Many materials, like plastics and glasses, also age -- ie they change slowly as their particles try to pack better. Biological materials, such as living tissue, show similar behaviour to glasses except that the particles are actual cells with their own propulsion. Researchers at Göttingen University used computer simulations to explore the aging behaviour of these ''living'' glassy systems. Research was published in Physical Review Letters. (2020-11-18)

Parasite infection discovery could assist mental health treatments
New research into how a common parasite infection alters human behaviour could help development of treatments for schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. T. gondii currently infects 2.5 billion people worldwide and causes the disease Toxoplasmosis. (2020-11-16)

Manchester group discover new family of quasiparticles in graphene-based materials
After years of dedicated research a group of pioneering scientists led by Nobel Laureate Andre Geim have again revealed a phenomenon that is 'radically different from textbook physics' and this work has led to the discovery and characterisation of a new family of quasiparticles found in graphene-based materials. Called Brown-Zak fermions these extraordinary particles have the potential to achieve the Holy Grail of 2D materials by having ultra-high frequency transistors which can in turn produce a new generation of superfast electronic devices. (2020-11-13)

The future's uncertain - but noradrenaline can help us adapt
A brain chemical called noradrenaline is responsible for our responses to uncertain situations - helping us to learn quickly and adapt our behaviour, a new study has found. (2020-11-13)

The transformation of a pair: How electrons supertransport current in 'bad metals'
The repulsive forces between the electrons in bad metals are much stronger than in low-temperature superconductors: so how do particles with the same charge overcome these forces and manage to pair-up and to transport current as it happens in ''traditional'' superconductors? According to a new study, in these materials the electrons would transform into new ''objects'', with an unprecedented character that would allow them to superconduct the current. (2020-11-11)

Urban gulls adapt foraging schedule to human activity patterns
If you've ever seen a seagull snatch a pasty or felt their beady eyes on your sandwich in the park, you'd be right to suspect they know exactly when to strike to increase their chances of getting a human snack. A new study by the University of Bristol is the most in-depth look to date at the foraging behaviours of urban gulls and how they've adapted to patterns of human activity in a city. (2020-11-10)

Infection by parasites disturbs flight behaviour in shoals of fish
Shoal behaviour in fish is an important strategy for them to safeguard their survival. Certain parasites are able to manipulate this strategy. Biologists have discovered that infected individual fish disturb the transmission of flight behaviour and, as a result, increase not only their own risk of being eaten, but also that of other - non-infected - members of the group. (2020-11-09)

Physical activity and dietary counselling slows down development of insulin resistance in children
A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary counselling considerably slows down the development of insulin resistance, which is a precursor of type 2 diabetes, in 6-9-year-old children. (2020-11-05)

Species more likely to die out with rapid climate changes
The great tit and other birds can adapt to changes in their food supply as a result of climate change, but they run into trouble if the changes happen too quickly. (2020-11-05)

Nervous systems of insects inspire efficient future AI systems
Study explores functions of fruit fly's nervous system in food seeking / results valuable for the development and control of artificial intelligence. (2020-11-05)

Beetles cooperate in brood care
Ambrosia beetles are fascinating: they practice agriculture with fungi and they live in a highly developed social system. Biologist Peter Biedermann has now discovered new facts about them. (2020-11-04)

A breakthrough of the mechanism of energy saving in collective swimming
Professor Xie Guangming's group in the College of Engineering at Peking University has found a simple yet previous unknown rule, explaining how do schooling fish save energy in collective motion. (2020-11-03)

Ants swallow their own acid to protect themselves from germs
Ants use their own acid to disinfect themselves and their stomachs. A team from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of Bayreuth has found that formic acid kills harmful bacteria in the animal's food, thereby reducing the risk of disease. At the same time, the acid significantly influences the ant's intestinal flora. The new study was published in the journal eLife. (2020-11-03)

Crown-of-thorns eat themselves out of house and home
A world-first study on the Great Barrier Reef shows crown-of-thorns starfish have the ability to find their own way home -- a behavior previously undocumented--but only if their neighborhood is stocked with their favorite food: corals. The starfish will consume available Acropora and ultimately eat themselves out of house and home before dispersing in search of new feeding grounds. (2020-11-03)

The order of life
A new model that describes the organization of organisms could lead to a better understanding of biological processes (2020-10-30)

First Australian night bees recorded foraging in darkness
Australian bees are known for pollinating plants on beautiful sunny days, but a new study has identified two species that have adapted their vision for night-time conditions for the first time. The study by a team of ecology researchers has observed night time foraging behaviour by a nomiine (Reepenia bituberculata) and masked (Meroglossa gemmata) bee species, with both developing enlarged compound and simple eyes which allow more light to be gathered when compared to their daytime kin. (2020-10-30)

Should I run, or should I not? The neural basis of aggression and flight
Researchers in the Gross group at EMBL Rome have investigated the mechanism behind defensive behaviour in mice. They have identified a specific area of the brain that encodes both spatial and threat cues to drive location-specific defensive responses. (2020-10-29)

Brainstem neurons control both behaviour and misbehaviour
A recent study at the University of Helsinki reveals how gene control mechanisms define the identity of developing neurons in the brainstem. The researchers also showed that a failure in differentiation of the brainstem neurons leads to behavioural abnormalities, including hyperactivity and attention deficit. (2020-10-29)

Unravelling the origins of autoimmune psychosis
Anti-NMDAR encephalitis is an autoimmune brain illness that is often mistaken by a psychiatric disorder since it causes psychoses and other behaviour alterations. Despite having these similarities, the illness does not respond to common antipsychotic treatments. (2020-10-29)

Nudges fail more often than is reported, experts warn
Research led by Queen Mary University of London has shown that despite the widespread use of behavioural interventions across society, failed interventions are surprisingly common. (2020-10-28)

Judges' decisions in sport focus more on vigour than skill
Researchers from the University of Plymouth analysed almost 550 men's and women's mixed martial arts contests, using data collated for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and found the rate at which competitors fight is more likely to result in judges awarding victory than the skill with which they attack their opponents. (2020-10-27)

Shifts in flowering phases of plants due to reduced insect density
A research group of the University of Jena and the iDiv has discovered that insects have a decisive influence on the biodiversity and flowering phases of plants. If there is a lack of insects where the plants are growing, their flowering behaviour changes. This can result in the lifecycles of the insects and the flowering periods of the plants no longer coinciding. If the insects seek nectar, some plants will no longer be pollinated. (2020-10-26)

Scientists develop genetic 'monitors' that detect when genes are active
Genetic sensors that can detect the activity from genes, rather than just the genes themselves, have been developed by a team led by University of Warwick scientists. (2020-10-26)

Citizens themselves contribute to political mistrust
People have a special ability to detect and disseminate information about egotistic and selfish leaders. In this way, citizens themselves contribute greatly to the proliferation of voter apathy and mistrust of politicians, according to a new study from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University. (2020-10-20)

Nanodevices show how living cells change with time, by tracking from the inside
For the first time, scientists have introduced minuscule tracking devices directly into the interior of mammalian cells, giving an unprecedented peek into the processes that govern the beginning of development. (2020-10-20)

HKU physicist joins international effort to unveil the behavior of "strange metals"
An international joint research team including Dr Zi Yang MENG, Associate Professor of Department of Physics at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has solved the puzzle of the NFL behaviour in interacting electrons systems, and provided a protocol for the establishment of new paradigms in quantum metals, through quantum many-body computation and analytical calculations. The findings have recently been published in Npj Quantum Materials. (2020-10-19)

Lie detection -- Have the experts got it wrong?
Researchers led by the University of Portsmouth carried out a critical analysis of the Model Statement lie detection technique and the results have been published today in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. There are concerns that the use of the technique is dangerous in the pursuit of criminal justice and researchers are calling for an urgent review of its practice. (2020-10-15)

Wolves attached - Adult wolves miss their human handler in separation similar to dogs
One key feature of the dog's success is that they show attachment towards their owners. The origin of the ability to form these interspecific bonds is still unclear. It is widely accepted that the common ancestor of the dog and the grey wolf probably was a highly social species, that had an important role during domestication. By studying the dog's closest living relative, the grey wolf, we can have an insight how early domestication process of the dog was affected. (2020-10-14)

STAT3 identified as important factor in emotional reactivity
In a study published in leading journal ''Molecular Psychiatry'', MedUni Vienna researchers led by Daniela Pollak from the Division of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology showed that STAT3 plays an important role in the serotonergic system as a molecular mediator for controlling emotional reactivity, thereby establishing a mechanistic link between the immune system, serotonergic transmission and affective disorders such as depression. (2020-10-14)

Online horse race bettors are less keen to gamble after a losing day
A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that a bettor likely stays away from betting for a 27% longer time after a losing day than after a day on which they won or broke even. The study looked at how losing or winning on the previous betting day predicts how long it takes from a bettor to return to the next session of online horse race betting. (2020-10-14)

Mental accounting is impacting sustainable behavior
Human beings tend to create separate mental budget compartments where specific acts of consumption and payments are linked. This mechanism can be counter-productive when it comes to energy consumption and can have a negative impact on attempts to reduce carbon emissions. Psychologists from the University of Geneva, have linked theories and research on mental accounting to energy and sustainability behaviour, proposing concrete strategies to improve the impact of climate-control measures. (2020-10-13)

The black hole always chirps twice: New clues deciphering the shape of black holes
A team of gravitational-wave scientists led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) reveal that when two black holes collide and merge, the remnant black hole 'chirps' not once, but multiple times, emitting gravitational waves--intense ripples in the fabric space and time--that inform us about its shape. Today the study has been published in Communications Physics (from the prestigious Nature journal). (2020-10-08)

Hunger encourages risk-taking
An insufficient food supply causes animals to engage in higher-risk behaviour: the willingness to take risks rises by an average of 26 per cent in animals that have experienced hunger earlier in their lives. That reveals a metaanalysis of scientists from the universities of Bielefeld and Jena (Germany). They evaluated experimental studies involving more than 100 animal species. (2020-10-05)

Could a poo transplant one day be the secret of eternal youth?
Poo transplants could one day be used to restore cognitive decline among the elderly - according to new research. A new study published today shows how faecal transplants from older to younger mice altered their gut microbiome, which in turn impacted their spatial learning and memory. The research team hope the reverse could also be true, and one day used as a therapy to restore cognitive function in older people. (2020-10-02)

COVID-19: Social dilemmas about protective measures
We need to understand how protective actions against contagious diseases are adopted to define the correct preventive approaches. A research team of the University of Geneva collected data about the adoption of protective measures. They analysed how the behaviour of others influences individual decision-making. The people least likely to adopt these measures are those who believe that the precautions taken by others mean that they do not need to take their own. (2020-10-02)

University of Ottawa study finds self-harm may be socially contagious among adolescents
A new study led by University of Ottawa epidemiologist Dr. Ian Colman suggests non-suicidal self-injury--behaviours like cutting oneself without the intent to die--may be contagious among teenagers, who are more likely to harm themselves when they know someone who has. (2020-10-01)

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