The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 26 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences is a systematic, integrative review journal that provides a unique and educational platform for updates on the expanding volume of information published in the field of behavioral sciences. The journal will help the community by providing:

1. The views of experts on current advances in behavioral sciences in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications.

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences will serve as an invaluable source of information to researchers, lecturers, and students interested in all aspects of behavioral science. Papers will reflect the wide range of multidisciplinary approaches (including computational, genetics/epigenetics, and neuroscience) that are used to investigate questions in this field.

Division of the subject into sections

The journal consists of 6 issues per year (with two sections that change every year to reflect hot topics in the field), covering all aspects of behavioral sciences.

Topic areas covered by the journal include:

• Addiction
• Animal Models
• Behavioral Economics
• Behavioral Genetics
• Cognitive Psychology/Science
• Comparative Cognition
• Computational Behavioral Science
• Decision Making
• Depression
• Developmental Psychology
• Development and Behavior
• Emotional Behavior
• Ethology
• Evolution and Behavior
• Experimental Psychology
• Learning and Memory
• Motivation and Reward
• Neuropsychiatric Disorders
• Perception
• Social Behavior
• Social Psychology

Section Editors, who are major authorities in the field, are appointed by the Editors of the journal. They divide their section into a number of topics, ensuring that the field is comprehensively covered and that all issues of current importance are emphasized. Section Editors commission reviews from authorities on each topic that they have selected. The Editorial Board provides support to the Editors and the Section Editors with their comments and suggestions on names and topics.

Review articles in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences are by invitation only.

Review Articles

Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasizing the aspects that, in their opinion, are most important. In addition, they provide short annotations to the papers that they consider to be most interesting from all those published in their topic over the previous two years.

Editorial Overview

Section Editors write a short overview at the beginning of the section to introduce the reviews and to draw the reader's attention to any particularly interesting developments.

Co-Editors-in-Chief: Trevor Robbins, Cindy Lustig

Best Cited over the last year.

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Memory integration: Neural mechanisms and implications for behavior

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Everyday behaviors require a high degree of flexibility, in which prior knowledge is applied to inform behavior in new situations. Such flexibility is thought to be supported in part by memory integration, a process whereby related memories become interconnected in the brain through recruitment of overlapping neuronal populations. Recent advances in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience highlight the importance of a hippocampal-medial prefrontal circuit in memory…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 1-8
Margaret L. Schlichting | Alison R. Preston

Neurobiological mechanisms of social attachment and pair bonding

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Species have evolved diverse social behavior and mating strategies in response to selective forces in their environments. While promiscuity is the predominant mating strategy across most vertebrate taxa, convergent evolution of monogamous mating systems has occurred multiple times across distant lineages. Monogamous behavior is thought to be facilitated by a neurobiological capacity to form and maintain selective social attachments, or pair bonds, with a mating partner. The…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 38-44
Zachary V. Johnson | Larry J. Young

The neural pathways, development and functions of empathy

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Empathy reflects an innate ability to perceive and be sensitive to the emotional states of others coupled with a motivation to care for their wellbeing. It has evolved in the context of parental care for offspring as well as within kinship. Current work demonstrates that empathy is underpinned by circuits connecting the brainstem, amygdala, basal ganglia, anterior cingulate cortex, insula and orbitofrontal cortex, which are conserved across many species. Empirical studies…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 1-6
Jean Decety

Physical activity, brain, and cognition

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. In this brief review we summarize the promising effects of physical activity and fitness on brain and cognition in children and older adults. Research in children finds that higher fit and more active preadolescent children show greater hippocampal and basal ganglia volume, greater white matter integrity, elevated and more efficient patterns of brain activity, and superior cognitive performance and scholastic achievement. Higher fit and more physically active older adults…

Volume 4, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 27-32
Kirk I. Erickson | Charles H. Hillman | Arthur F. Kramer

Neural systems supporting navigation

© 2014 The Authors. Much is known about how neural systems determine current spatial position and orientation in the environment. By contrast little is understood about how the brain represents future goal locations or computes the distance and direction to such goals. Recent electrophysiology, computational modelling and neuroimaging research have shed new light on how the spatial relationship to a goal may be determined and represented during navigation. This research suggests that the…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 47-55
Hugo J. Spiers | Caswell Barry

The dual-hormone hypothesis: A brief review and future research agenda

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The dual-hormone hypothesis posits that testosterone's role in status-relevant behavior should depend on concentrations of cortisol, a hormone released in response to physical and psychological stress. This paper (i) reviews evidence for the dual-hormone hypothesis on measures of dominance, aggression, social status, risk-taking, and economic decision-making; (ii) discusses contextual and individual difference moderators of dual-hormone associations with behavior; and (iii)…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 163-168
Pranjal H. Mehta | Smrithi Prasad

Promoting cooperation in the field

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. We review the growing literature of field experiments designed to promote cooperative behavior in policy-relevant settings outside the laboratory (e.g. conservation, charitable donations, voting). We focus on four categories of intervention that have been well studied. We find that material rewards and increased efficacy, interventions focused on altering the costs and benefits of giving, have at best mixed success. Social Interventions based on observability and…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 96-101
Gordon Kraft-Todd | Erez Yoeli | Syon Bhanot | David Rand

Functions of the human frontoparietal attention network: Evidence from neuroimaging

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Human frontoparietal cortex has long been implicated as a source of attentional control. However, the mechanistic underpinnings of these control functions have remained elusive due to limitations of neuroimaging techniques that rely on anatomical landmarks to localize patterns of activation. The recent advent of topographic mapping via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has allowed the reliable parcellation of the network into 18 independent subregions in…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 32-39
Miranda Scolari | Katharina N. Seidl-Rathkopf | Sabine Kastner

The cognitive neuroscience of visual short-term memory

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Our understanding of the neural bases of visual short-term memory (STM), the ability to mentally retain information over short periods of time, is being reshaped by two important developments: the application of methods from statistical machine learning, often a variant of multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA), to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalographic (EEG) data sets; and advances in our understanding of the physiology and functions of…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 40-46
Bradley R. Postle

Perinatal exposure to endocrine disruptors: Sex, timing and behavioral endpoints

© 2015. Of the approximately 85,000 chemicals in use, 1000 have been identified as having the ability to disrupt normal endocrine function. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during critical period in brain differentiation (prenatal and neonatal life) via the mother can alter the course of the development of sexually dimorphic behaviors. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a very high volume chemical used in plastic, resins and other products, and virtually everyone examined has detectable BPA.…

Volume 7, Issue , 01 February 2016, Pp 69-75
Paola Palanza | Susan C. Nagel | Stefano Parmigiani | Frederick S. vom Saal

Executive control and decision-making in the prefrontal cortex

© 2014. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves decision-making and executive control. Here we review recent empirical and modeling works with a focus on neuroimaging studies, which start unifying these two conceptual approaches of PFC function. We propose that the PFC comprises two arbitration systems: (1) a peripheral system comprising premotor/caudal PFC regions and orbitofrontal regions involved in the selection of actions based on perceptual cues and reward values, respectively, and embedded…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 101-106
Philippe Domenech | Etienne Koechlin

Enhancing cognition using transcranial electrical stimulation

© 2015 . Noninvasive brain st imulation is being widely investigated to understand and modulate human brain function, and offers novel therapeutic approaches to neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Here, we focus on the growing interest in the potential of noninvasive brain stimulation, particularly transcranial Electrical Stimulation (tES), to enhance cognitive abilities in healthy individuals through the modulation of neuronal membrane potentials, specific brain oscillations or the delivery…

Volume 4, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 127-178
Emiliano Santarnecchi | Anna Katharine Brem | Erica Levenbaum | Todd Thompson | Roi Cohen Kadosh | Alvaro Pascual-Leone

Neophobia is not only avoidance: Improving neophobia tests by combining cognition and ecology

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Psychologists and behavioural ecologists use neophobia tests to measure behaviours ranging from anxiety to predatory wariness. Psychologists typically focus on underlying cognitive mechanisms at the expense of ecological validity, while behavioural ecologists generally examine adaptive function but ignore cognition. However, neophobia is an ecologically relevant fear behaviour that arises through a cognitive assessment of novel stimuli. Both fields have accrued conflicting…

Volume 6, Issue , 01 December 2015, Pp 82-89
Alison L. Greggor | Alex Thornton | Nicola S. Clayton

Social norms, self-control, and the value of antisocial behavior

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Social norms facilitate large-scale cooperation by promoting prosocial interactions and constraining antisocial behavior. Dominant models of norm compliance emphasize the role of effortful, capacity-limited inhibitory control in prosocial cooperation. Similarly, clinical science has focused on inhibitory deficits as a key source of persistent norm-violating behavior. Support for an inhibition-based 'braking success/braking failure' (BSBF) model is derived from evidence of…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 122-129
Joshua W. Buckholtz

Eye to eye, face to face and brain to brain: Novel approaches to study the behavioral dynamics and neural mechanisms of social interactions

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The gaze of others fascinates us from birth onwards. Traditionally, experimental approaches to study the effects of gaze have focused on how human observers respond to gaze cues and how attention, perception and action control is influenced by them. In recent years, the investigation of gaze behavior has moved toward the inclusion of more ecologically valid conditions, in which gaze signals are exchanged as part of an ongoing reciprocal social interaction. Such an…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 130-135
Leonhard Schilbach

Video games, cognitive exercises, and the enhancement of cognitive abilities

© 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. In this review we explore the emerging field of cognitive training via distinct types of interactive digital media: those designed primarily for entertainment ('video games') and those created for the purpose of cognitive enhancement ('cognitive exercises'). Here we consider how specific design factors associated with each tool (e.g., fun, motivation, adaptive mechanics) and the study itself (e.g., participant expectancy, dose effects) can influence cognitive…

Volume 4, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 160-165
Joaquin A. Anguera | Adam Gazzaley

Mimicry: Causes and consequences

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. People both mimic and are mimicked in nearly every social interaction, though neither the mimicker nor the mimicked are generally aware of its occurrence. People mimic what they observe in others, including facial expressions, emotions, behavioral movements, and verbal patterns. In the current review we focus on the causes and consequences of mimicry. Specifically, what causes mimicry to occur within a given social interaction and what are the downstream consequences of…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 112-116
Korrina A. Duffy | Tanya L. Chartrand

Action video game training for cognitive enhancement

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Here we review the literature examining the perceptual, attentional, and cognitive benefits of playing one sub-type of video games known as 'action video games,' as well as the mechanistic underpinnings of these behavioral effects. We then outline evidence indicating the potential usefulness of these commercial off-the-shelf games for practical, real-world applications such as rehabilitation or the training of job-related skills. Finally, we discuss potential core…

Volume 4, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 103-108
C. Shawn Green | Daphne Bavelier

Phasic dopamine signals: From subjective reward value to formal economic utility

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Although rewards are physical stimuli and objects, their value for survival and reproduction is subjective. The phasic, neurophysiological and voltammetric dopamine reward prediction error response signals subjective reward value. The signal incorporates crucial reward aspects such as amount, probability, type, risk, delay and effort. Differences of dopamine release dynamics with temporal delay and effort in rodents may derive from methodological issues and require further…

Volume 5, Issue , 01 October 2015, Pp 147-154
Wolfram Schultz | Regina M. Carelli | R. Mark Wightman

Uncorking the bottleneck of crowding: A fresh look at object recognition

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. In crowding, the perception of a target deteriorates in the presence of clutter. Crowding is usually explained within the framework of object recognition, where processing proceeds in a hierarchical and feedforward fashion from the analysis of low level features, such as lines and edges, to high level features, such shapes and objects. Here, reviewing work of the last two years, we will show evidence that these models fail to explain a large body of findings, which…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 January 2015, Pp 86-93
Michael H. Herzog | Mauro Manassi

The structure of reinforcement-learning mechanisms in the human brain

© 2014. Here we review recent developments in the application of reinforcement-learning theory as a means of understanding how the brain learns to select actions to maximize future reward, with a focus on human neuroimaging studies. We evaluate evidence for the distinction between model-based and model-free reinforcement-learning and their arbitration, and consider hierarchical reinforcement-learning schemes and structure learning. Finally we discuss the possibility of integrating across these…

Volume 1, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 94-100
John P. O'Doherty | Sang Wan Lee | Daniel McNamee

Zebrafish phenomics: Behavioral screens and phenotyping of mutagenized fish

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. The zebrafish is small, easy to keep, and breeds in large quantities, features that make it attractive for high throughput mutagenesis screening. It is translationally relevant due to evolutionary conservation of several of its characteristics, but particularly because of the high nucleotide sequence homology between zebrafish and human genes. Behavioral genetics also noticed this species. Although still very small, the number of behavioral paradigms designed for zebrafish…

Volume 2, Issue , 01 April 2015, Pp 21-27
Robert Gerlai

Social influences on eating

© 2015 The Authors. Eating behaviour is strongly influenced by social context. We eat differently when we are with other people compared with when we eat alone. Our dietary choices also tend to converge with those of our close social connections. One reason for this is that conforming to the behaviour of others is adaptive and we find it rewarding. Norms of appropriate eating are set by the behaviour of other people, but also shared cultural expectations and environmental cues. We are more…

Volume 9, Issue , 01 June 2016, Pp 1-6
Suzanne Higgs | Jason Thomas

The outward spiral: A vicious cycle model of obesity and cognitive dysfunction

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Chronic failure to suppress intake during states of positive energy balance leads to weight gain and obesity. The ability to use context - including interoceptive satiety states. -. to inhibit responding to previously rewarded cues appears to depend on the functional integrity of the hippocampus. Recent evidence implicates energy dense Western diets in several types of hippocampal dysfunction, including reduced expression of neurotrophins and nutrient transporters,…

Volume 9, Issue , 01 June 2016, Pp 40-46
Sara L. Hargrave | Sabrina Jones | Terry L. Davidson

Intergroup biases: A focus on stereotype content

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Impressions of others, including societal groups, systematically array along two dimensions, warmth (trustworthiness/friendliness) and competence. Social structures of competition and status respectively predict these usually orthogonal dimensions. Prejudiced emotions (pride, pity, contempt, and envy) target each quadrant, and distinct discriminatory behavioral tendencies result. The Stereotype Content Model (SCM) patterns generalize across time (2oth century), culture…

Volume 3, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 45-50
Susan T. Fiske