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Infants learn from observing others' emotional behavior
Results from two new studies of 18-month olds show that infants can learn to guide their own behavior by watching others' emotional reactions. Infants in the study watched scenarios where one adult responded to another adult's actions with either anger or neutrality. Infants later were hesitant to copy the action which had caused an angry reaction. Interestingly, infants did not show this hesitance to copy this action if the 'angry' adult had left the room. (2007-03-26)

The mind uses syntax to interpret actions
Most people are familiar with the concept that sentences have syntax. A verb, a subject and an object come together in predictable patterns. But actions have syntax, too; when we watch someone else do something, we assemble their actions to mean something, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (2010-11-04)

Warwick Research: Believe you can stop climate change and you will
If we believe that we can personally help stop climate change with individual actions -- such as turning the thermostat down -- then we are more likely to make a difference, according to research from the University of Warwick. (2017-05-04)

Study provides new insight into how toddlers learn verbs
Parents can help toddlers' language skills by showing them a variety of examples of different actions, according to new research from the University of Liverpool. (2014-04-16)

Humans appear hardwired to learn by 'over imitation'
Children learn by imitating adults and will change what they know about an object to mimic adult behavior. (2007-12-05)

5 year olds are generous only when they're watched
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can't see them, according to research published Oct. 31 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Kristin Lyn Leimgruber and colleagues from Yale University. (2012-10-31)

Copying is social phenomenon, not just learning, say scientists
Mimicking the behavior of mom and dad has long been considered a vital way in which children learn about the world around them. Now psychologists at The University of Nottingham have shown that copying unnecessary behavior is more likely to be a social phenomenon than part of the practical process of acquiring new skills. (2013-04-08)

Sleeping after learning is important for infants' long-term memory
Sleep facilitates memory consolidation -- not just in adults, but also in infants in their first year of life. This has been demonstrated by a team of researchers headed by Dr. Sabine Seehagen at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, for the first time using an experimental design that assesses declarative memories, i.e. memories for facts and events. The researchers conclude: sleeping after learning appears to be important for infants' long-term memory. The researchers report their findings in the journal PNAS. (2015-01-13)

The dual functions of sight - perception and action - demonstrated for first time
The dissociation in the visual system between two separate functions - one that enables us to identify objects and the other to interact with them - has been clearly demonstrated for the first time in healthy humans by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2006-03-06)

Bosnia and Herzegovina joins the COST family
COST is proud to announce that Bosnia and Herzegovina is the latest country to join its network. The membership was formally accepted at the 174th CSO meeting, held in Brussels on May 26-27, 2009. This now brings the total of COST Countries to 36. (2009-05-28)

'Read my lips' - it's easier when they're your own
People can lip-read themselves better than they can lip-read others, according to a new study by Nancy Tye-Murray and colleagues from Washington University. Their work, which explores the link between speech perception and speech production, is published online in Springer's Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. (2012-11-08)

Why blame feels hard to take
When something we do produces a positive result, we actually perceive it differently than we would if that same action yielded a negative result. In particular, people feel a greater connection between voluntary actions and their outcomes if those outcomes are good than if they are bad. The discovery, reported on Oct. 3 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, yields important insight into notions about personal responsibility. (2013-10-03)

Switching between habitual and goal-directed actions -- a '2 in 1' system in our brain
To unravel the circuit that underlies this capacity, the capacity to (2013-08-06)

Children with autism leave 'silly' out
When a child with autism copies the actions of an adult, he or she is likely to omit anything (2013-04-08)

Stroke patients may benefit from new routines
People who have suffered a stroke often experience severe fatigue. But doctors find it hard to help these patients as their experiences of fatigue may not necessarily be caused by physiological problems. New research from University of Copenhagen suggests that dreams of returning to everyday life as it was before the stroke may contribute to the patients' experiences of fatigue and that it may be a help to establish new routines instead of trying to regain old ones. (2014-03-14)

'His is lighter than mine'
When a subject lifts a heavy box, and sees someone else lifting an object, the subject thinks the other person's box is lighter than it really is. It seems therefore that performing an action influences our perception of an observed action. This is the central finding of a paper published in today's edition of the journal 'Current Biology' from a research team led by Dr Antonia Hamilton of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London (UCL). (2004-03-22)

Policy changes are needed to address over-consumption
Although the major objective of the liquor, food and associated industries is to optimise profits, that is, to sell as much food and alcohol as possible, their success can create serious health risks and burdens for consumers. (2017-03-31)

How brains of doers differ from those of procrastinators
Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have analysed why certain people tend to put tasks off rather than tackling them directly. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), they identified two brain areas whose volume and functional connectivity are linked to an individual's ability to control their actions. (2018-08-22)

Monkey see, monkey do? The role of mirror neurons in human behavior
We are all familiar with the phrase (2011-08-01)

Dartmouth study finds how the brain interprets the intent of others
Dartmouth researchers have learned more about how the human brain interprets the actions and intentions of others. (2006-02-16)

Autism theory put to the test with new technology
Dr. Tim Welsh is studying the ancient (2007-06-27)

Humans imitate in unique ways: Comparing children and bonobos
A new study compared children's capacity to imitate behavior with the same capacity of humans' closest living great ape relatives, the bonobos. The study found that bonobos do not copy actions as children do, which highlights the unique nature of human imitation. (2017-07-25)

Understanding the actions of others requires the frontal cortex
By stimulating the frontal cortex in adults, researchers have shown that this part of the brain is essential for understanding other people's actions. (2006-03-06)

False memories of self-performance result from watching others' actions
Did I turn off the stove, or did I just imagine it? Memory isn't always reliable. Psychological scientists have discovered all sorts of ways that false memories get created, and now there's another one for the list: watching someone else do an action can make you think you did it yourself. (2010-09-14)

Ever gone to put your keys in the fridge, not the milk? New research sheds light on why
New research shows for the first time that forming a strong mental picture of a motor action can make a person involuntarily do it. (2018-07-23)

Change health messaging to focus on potential impact to help stop the next pandemic
Changing public health messaging to focus on the impact of our actions -- for example the potentially harmful impact of infecting a colleague with a cold, rather than whether we will infect them if we go into work in the first place -- could have significant implications for how we deal with global threats, according to a new study from City University of London, the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), and Yale University. (2018-07-09)

Babies tune into others' intentions early in the first year
Research at the University of Chicago shows that the basic human capacity of interpreting a person's behavior in terms of the person's goals or intentions begins to emerge early in the first year of life. (2004-02-13)

Feelings matter less to teenagers
Teenagers take less account than adults of people's feelings and, often, even fail to think about their own, according to a UCL neuroscientist. The results, presented at the BA Festival of Science today, show that teenagers hardly use the area of the brain that is involved in thinking about other people's emotions and thoughts, when considering a course of action. (2006-09-07)

Keeping governments accountable: The COVID-10 assessment scorecard
Many actors in the response to COVID-19 are holding out for a vaccine to be developed. But in the meantime, tried and tested public-health measures for controlling outbreaks can be implemented. A scorecard can be used to assess governments' responses to the outbreak. (2020-06-12)

Talk is cheap: New study finds words speak louder than actions
When it comes to the art of persuasion, you can attract more followers if you turn conventional wisdom on its head and stress what you like, not what you do. (2015-06-29)

Entrepreneurial strategies have different implications for different actions
A new study published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal illustrates the important implications that both Discovery Theory and Creation Theory have on the effectiveness of a variety of entrepreneurial actions within different contexts. (2008-04-03)

Kicking the habit
In a study published today (April 4) in the scientific journal Current Biology, neuroscientists at Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon report novel findings that challenge the way the scientific community has been thinking about how actions are selected and habits are formed. (2016-04-04)

Both chimpanzees and humans spontaneously imitate each other's actions 
Decades of research has shown that apes, in spite of their proverbial aping abilities, are rather poor imitators, especially when compared to human children. Current theories hold that apes are worse imitators because they lack this social and communicative side of imitation. A new study from Lund University, published in the journal Primates, has instead targeted the interactive side of imitation directly, and finds that the divide between humans and chimpanzees is less clear cut. (2017-08-21)

Altered images: New research shows that what we see is distorted by what we expect to see
New research led by the University of Plymouth shows that humans 'see' the actions of others not quite as they really are, but slightly distorted by their expectations. (2018-08-07)

Brain processes social information at high priority
An international research team has found that our perception is highly sensitized for absorbing social information. The brain is thus trained to pay a great degree of attention to everyday actions. The results are reported by neuroscientist Prof Dr Martin Brüne and philosopher Prof Dr Albert Newen, both from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, together with Eleonore Neufeld and other colleagues in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. (2016-04-01)

Perceived intentions influence brain response
People generally like to see generous people rewarded and selfish people punished. Now, new research reveals a critical link between how we perceive another's intentions and our evaluation of their behavior. The study, published by Cell Press in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Neuron, makes some intriguing observations about how a description of the impact of an individual's actions on a group can alter the neural representation of their observed behavior. (2010-08-11)

Thyroid cancer discovery points to new treatments, prevention
The actions of a mutated protein in cells linked to thyroid cancer have been uncovered by researchers at Queen's University. The discovery paves the way for the future development of drugs to more effectively target, treat and possibly even prevent both inherited and non-inherited thyroid cancers. (2006-11-15)

Morality-based judgments are quicker, more extreme than practical evaluations
Judgments made after a moral evaluation are quicker and more extreme than the same judgment based on practical considerations, but morality-based evaluations can be more easily shifted and made with other considerations in mind, according to research published Nov. 28 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jay Van Bavel and colleagues from New York University. (2012-11-28)

What factors contribute to the success or failure of software firms?
Researchers from Pitt, McGill, and Georgia Tech reviewed data collected from 870 software firms between 1995 to 2007. They found that companies undertaking innovation-related actions and have higher marketing and operating abilities, are most likely to survive. (2010-11-18)

Virtual back-seat driver could save your life
Researchers are developing a smart car that can predict when you are about to make a dangerous move and help you avoid disaster. The car uses sensors to monitor the person's driving patterns and then uses a system that calculates the probability of particular actions happening next. (1999-06-16)

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