Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Research publications

You can find more research publications messages on the website of the Institute:

Research publications 2018

Obesity seen as self-inflicted

February 05, 2018

Representative survey in Germany, the UK, and the US [more]


Frequent family meals promote good nutritional health in children

January 19, 2018

Meta-analysis of 57 studies with more than 200,000 participants worldwide [more]

Research publications 2017

Risk preference is a relatively stable personality trait

October 30, 2017

Large-scale study casts light on the nature of risk preferences [more]


Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier

October 12, 2017

MRI study analyzes stress-processing brain regions in older city dwellers [more]


Memory for details matures gradually

September 25, 2017

High-resolution imaging provides new insights into the development of the human brain [more]

Adolescent impatience increases as testosterone levels rise

May 15, 2017

Impulsivity is related to pubertal status [more]


Starting school boosts development

May 11, 2017

Positive effects on children’s ability to concentrate and control their behavior [more]

Older but bolder: older adults make riskier decisions

March 11, 2017

Older people make riskier choices than younger adults—and worse decisions [more]

Research publications 2016

Helping pays off: People who care for others live longer

December 22, 2016

Study investigates the relationship between caregiving and lifespan [more]


'Brexit will be more complicated than many believe'

November 02, 2016

Jürgen Basedow explains why the UK can expect long, drawn-out negotiations - and why little is likely to change in the short run [more]


Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time

October 18, 2016

Study investigates how 9-, 12-, and 17-year-olds deal with simple decision rules [more]


To help or not to help?

September 29, 2016

Emergency situations amplify individual tendencies to behave egoistically or prosocially [more]


What causes mass panic in emergency situations?

September 15, 2016

Study investigates crowd behaviour under stress in a virtual environment [more]


Daring more democracy!

September 01, 2016

A conversation about the rights of children and democracy in schools with Lothar Krappmann, who worked at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Freie Universität in Berlin until 2001. [more]


Diagnoses: When are several opinions better than one?

July 21, 2016

Researchers investigate the effects of collective intelligence and the conditions for its emergence [more]


Risk-taking propensity changes, especially in young adulthood and in older age

January 29, 2016

Longitudinal study examines individual and age-related changes in the willingness to take risks in various domains of life [more]

Poverty and hardship increase risk-taking in old age

January 08, 2016

Study examines link between life circumstances and risk-taking in older people [more]

Research publications 2015

Risk perception: social exchange can amplify subjective fears

April 21, 2015

“Pass the message” experiment investigates how people perceive and communicate the risks of a widely used chemical [more]

Old age is getting younger

March 23, 2015

Older adults today show higher levels of cognitive functioning and well-being than older adults of the same age 20 years ago. This has been found in a collaborative study among several research institutions in Berlin. [more]


Learning with all the senses

February 05, 2015

Movements and images facilitate vocabulary learning [more]


Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking – awareness of dreaming

January 20, 2015

Brain researchers discover similarities between dreaming and wakefulness [more]

Research publications 2014

Research highlights 2014

June 04, 2014

Three research articles from the Yearbook 2014 [more]


What children read – cognitive consequences and challenges for education

June 02, 2014

Learning to read is a long and complex process, however, and one that not all students master with ease – as studies such as PISA have shown. Individuals with functional illiteracy can find themselves excluded from many areas of life and work. [more]

Viewers of pornography have a smaller reward system

June 02, 2014

Study shows a connection between consumption and brain structure [more]


Outgrowing emotional egocentricity

May 26, 2014

Max Planck researchers discover a region of the brain that enables children to overcome emotional self-centeredness as they mature [more]

Why antisocial youths are less able to take the perspective of others

March 11, 2014

Neuroimaging study of social interaction with delinquent adolescents [more]


Emotional worlds

March 06, 2014

Ute Frevert researches emotions and their expression within a historical context [more]


The brain on autopilot

January 16, 2014

How the architecture of the brain shapes its functioning [more]


Letter by Letter

January 15, 2014

Learning to read is a difficult task - even children struggle with it [more]

Research publications 2013

Squabbling meerkats make better decisions

December 05, 2013

Swarm Intelligence: Quality grows with different factions [more]


How video gaming can be beneficial for the brain

October 30, 2013

Brain regions can be specifically trained [more]


I’m ok, you’re not ok

October 09, 2013

The right supramarginal gyrus plays an important role in empathy [more]

Young and old: who performs more consistently?

August 05, 2013

A new study examining day-to-day variability in adults’ cognitive performance shows that older adults are more consistent than younger ones [more]


Experience leads to the growth of new brain cells

May 09, 2013

A new study examines how individuality develops [more]

Research publications 2012

Propaganda with feeling – music as an instrument of social purpose

December 11, 2012

Scientists study the emotions triggered by music through the ages [more]


Making music together connects brains

November 29, 2012

When guitarists play together, networks of nerve cells are formed between their brains [more]

More traffic deaths in wake of 9/11

September 11, 2012

The fear of terrorist attacks can alter our everyday behaviour and result in more fatal traffic accidents [more]

Decision-making can and must be learned – new test measures risk intelligence

April 10, 2012 provides information about how well individuals can assess risks [more]

Research publications 2009

The protein for quick decision-makers

October 26, 2009

Individual enzyme levels influence decision-making processes [more]

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