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Category: Behavior

Babies can tell who has close relationships based on one clue: saliva | MIT News
January 20, 2022

Learning to navigate social relationships is a skill that is critical for surviving in human societies. For babies and young children, that means learning who they can count on to take care of them. MIT neuroscientists have now identified a specific signal that young children and even babies use to determine whether two people have a strong relationship and a mutual obligation to help each other: whether those two...

Systems scientists find clues to why false news snowballs on social media | MIT News
December 15, 2021

The spread of misinformation on social media is a pressing societal problem that tech companies and policymakers continue to grapple with, yet those who study this issue still don’t have a deep understanding of why and how false news spreads. To shed some light on this murky topic, researchers at MIT developed a theoretical model of a Twitter-like social network to study how news is shared and explore situations where...

Feast or forage? Study finds circuit that helps a brain decide | MIT News
December 6, 2021

MIT neuroscientists have discovered the elegant architecture of a fundamental decision-making brain circuit that allows a C. elegans worm to either forage for food or stop to feast when it finds a source. Capable of integrating multiple streams of sensory information, the circuit employs just a few key neurons to sustain long-lasting behaviors and yet flexibly switch between them as environmental conditions...

Is watching believing? | MIT News
November 17, 2021

It might seem that video would be a singularly influential medium for spreading information online. But a new experiment conducted by MIT researchers finds that video clips have only a modestly larger impact on political persuasion than the written word does. “Our conclusion is that watching video is not much more persuasive than reading text,” says David Rand, an MIT professor and co-author of a new paper detailing...

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