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Concept: Collaboration


Making new breakthroughs in understanding the processes underlying human cognition may depend on the availability of very large datasets that have not historically existed in psychology and neuroscience. Lumosity is a web-based cognitive training platform that has grown to include over 600 million cognitive training task results from over 35 million individuals, comprising the largest existing dataset of human cognitive performance. As part of the Human Cognition Project, Lumosity’s collaborative research program to understand the human mind, Lumos Labs researchers and external research collaborators have begun to explore this dataset in order uncover novel insights about the correlates of cognitive performance. This paper presents two preliminary demonstrations of some of the kinds of questions that can be examined with the dataset. The first example focuses on replicating known findings relating lifestyle factors to baseline cognitive performance in a demographically diverse, healthy population at a much larger scale than has previously been available. The second example examines a question that would likely be very difficult to study in laboratory-based and existing online experimental research approaches at a large scale: specifically, how learning ability for different types of cognitive tasks changes with age. We hope that these examples will provoke the imagination of researchers who are interested in collaborating to answer fundamental questions about human cognitive performance.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Cognitive science, Perception, Mind, Thought, Cognitive neuroscience, Collaboration


Collaboration can provide benefits to the individual and the group across a variety of contexts. Even in simple perceptual tasks, the aggregation of individuals' personal information can enable enhanced group decision-making. However, in certain circumstances such collaboration can worsen performance, or even expose an individual to exploitation in economic tasks, and therefore a balance needs to be struck between a collaborative and a more egocentric disposition. Neurohumoral agents such as oxytocin are known to promote collaborative behaviours in economic tasks, but whether there are opponent agents, and whether these might even affect information aggregation without an economic component, is unknown. Here, we show that an androgen hormone, testosterone, acts as such an agent. Testosterone causally disrupted collaborative decision-making in a perceptual decision task, markedly reducing performance benefit individuals accrued from collaboration while leaving individual decision-making ability unaffected. This effect emerged because testosterone engendered more egocentric choices, manifest in an overweighting of one’s own relative to others' judgements during joint decision-making. Our findings show that the biological control of social behaviour is dynamically regulated not only by modulators promoting, but also by those diminishing a propensity to collaborate.

Concepts: Psychology, Decision making, Decision theory, Androgen, Human behavior, Collaboration


Formal protected areas will not provide adequate protection to conserve all biodiversity, and are not always designated using systematic or strategic criteria. Using a systematic process, the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) network was designed to highlight areas of conservation significance for birds (i.e. IBA trigger species), and more recently general biodiversity. Land use activities that take place in IBAs are diverse, including consumptive and non-consumptive activities. Avitourism in Australia, generally a non-consumptive activity, is reliant on the IBA network and the birds IBAs aim to protect. However, companies tend not to mention IBAs in their marketing. Furthermore, avitourism, like other nature-based tourism has the potential to be both a threatening process as well as a conservation tool. We aimed to assess the current use of IBAs among Australian-based avitour companies' marketing, giving some indication of which IBAs are visited by avitourists on organised tours. We reviewed online avitour itineraries, recorded sites featuring in descriptions of avitours and which IBA trigger species are used to sell those tours. Of the 209 avitours reviewed, Queensland is the most featured state (n = 59 tours), and 73% feature at least one IBA. Daintree (n = 22) and Bruny Island (n = 17) IBAs are the most popular, nationally. Trigger species represent 34% (n = 254 out of 747) of species used in avitour descriptions. The most popular trigger species' are wetland species including; Brolga (n = 37), Black-necked Stork (n = 30) and Magpie Goose (n = 27). Opportunities exist to increase collaboration between avitour companies and IBA stakeholders. Our results can provide guidance for managing sustainability of the avitourism industry at sites that feature heavily in avitour descriptions and enhance potential cooperation between avitour companies, IBA stakeholders and bird conservation organisations.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Evolution, Bird, Sustainability, Collaboration, Goose, Stork


Gilbert et al. conclude that evidence from the Open Science Collaboration’s Reproducibility Project: Psychology indicates high reproducibility, given the study methodology. Their very optimistic assessment is limited by statistical misconceptions and by causal inferences from selectively interpreted, correlational data. Using the Reproducibility Project: Psychology data, both optimistic and pessimistic conclusions about reproducibility are possible, and neither are yet warranted.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Statistics, Mathematics, Philosophy of science, Social sciences, Reasoning, Collaboration


Background Reproducibility is the hallmark of good science.Maintaining a high degree of transparency in scientific reporting isessential not just for gaining trust and credibility within thescientific community but also for facilitating the development of newideas. Sharing data and computer code associated with publications isbecoming increasingly common, motivated partly in response to datadeposition requirements from journals and mandates from funders. Despitethis increase in transparency, it is still difficult to reproduce orbuild upon the findings of most scientific publications without accessto a more complete workflow.Findings Version control systems (VCS), which have long beenused to maintain code repositories in the software industry, are nowfinding new applications in science. One such open source VCS, git,provides a lightweight yet robust framework that is ideal for managingthe full suite of research outputs such as datasets, statistical code,figures, lab notes, and manuscripts. For individual researchers, gitprovides a powerful way to track and compare versions, retrace errors,explore new approaches in a structured manner, while maintaining a fullaudit trail. For larger collaborative efforts, git and git hostingservices make it possible for everyone to work asynchronously and mergetheir contributions at any time, all the while maintaining a completeauthorship trail. In this paper I provide an overview of git along withuse-cases that highlight how this tool can be leveraged to make sciencemore reproducible and transparent, foster new collaborations, andsupport novel uses.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Research, Source code, Collaboration, Free software, Pseudoscience, Revision control


University scientists conducting research on topics of potential health concern often want to partner with a range of actors, including government entities, non-governmental organizations, and private enterprises. Such partnerships can provide access to needed resources, including funding. However, those who observe the results of such partnerships may judge those results based on who is involved. This set of studies seeks to assess how people perceive two hypothetical health science research collaborations. In doing so, it also tests the utility of using procedural justice concepts to assess perceptions of research legitimacy as a theoretical way to investigate conflict of interest perceptions. Findings show that including an industry collaborator has clear negative repercussions for how people see a research partnership and that these perceptions shape people’s willingness to see the research as a legitimate source of knowledge. Additional research aimed at further communicating procedures that might mitigate the impact of industry collaboration is suggested.

Concepts: Scientific method, Cognition, Science, Perception, Information, Concept, Collaboration, Partnership


Complex problem solving in science, engineering, and business has become a highly collaborative endeavor. Teams of scientists or engineers collaborate on projects using their social networks to gather new ideas and feedback. Here we bridge the literature on team performance and information networks by studying teams' problem solving abilities as a function of both their within-team networks and their members' extended networks. We show that, while an assigned team’s performance is strongly correlated with its networks of expressive and instrumental ties, only the strongest ties in both networks have an effect on performance. Both networks of strong ties explain more of the variance than other factors, such as measured or self-evaluated technical competencies, or the personalities of the team members. In fact, the inclusion of the network of strong ties renders these factors non-significant in the statistical analysis. Our results have consequences for the organization of teams of scientists, engineers, and other knowledge workers tackling today’s most complex problems.

Concepts: Scientific method, Mathematics, Sociology, Science, Problem solving, Problem, Collaboration, Team


Multiplayer video games promoting exercise-based rehabilitation may facilitate motor learning, by increasing motivation through social interaction. However, a major design challenge is to enable meaningful inter-subject interaction, whilst allowing for significant skill differences between players. We present a novel motor-training paradigm that allows real-time collaboration and performance enhancement, across a wide range of inter-subject skill mismatches, including disabled vs. able-bodied partnerships.

Concepts: Skill, Learning, Collaboration, First-person shooter, Age of Mythology, Multiplayer video game


Research increasingly means that patients, caregivers, health professionals, other stakeholders, and academic investigators work in partnership. This requires effective collaboration rooted in mutual respect, involvement of all participants, and good communication. Having conducted such partnered research over multiple projects, and having recently completed a project together funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, we collaboratively developed a list of 12 lessons we have learned about how to ensure effective research partnerships. To foster a culture of mutual respect, hold early in-person meetings, with introductions focused on motivation, offer appropriate orientation for everyone, and maintain awareness of individual and project goals. To actively involve all team members, it is important to ensure sufficient funding for everyone’s participation, to ask for and recognize diverse contributions, and to seek the input of quiet members. To facilitate good communication, teams should carefully consider labels, avoid jargon and acronyms, judiciously use homogeneous and heterogeneous subgroups, and keep progress visible. In offering pragmatic, actionable lessons we have learned through our separate and shared experiences, we hope to help foster more patient-centered research via productive and enjoyable research collaborations.

Concepts: Participation, Research, Project management, Collaboration, Partnership


Pancreatic cancer (PC) is estimated to become the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2020. Early detection is the key to improving survival in PC. Addressing this urgent need, the Kenner Family Research Fund conducted the inaugural Early Detection of Sporadic Pancreatic Cancer Summit Conference in 2014 in conjunction with the 45th Anniversary Meeting of the American Pancreatic Association and Japan Pancreas Society. This seminal convening of international representatives from science, practice, and clinical research was designed to facilitate challenging interdisciplinary conversations to generate innovative ideas leading to the creation of a defined collaborative strategic pathway for the future of the field. An in-depth summary of current efforts in the field, analysis of gaps in specific areas of expertise, and challenges that exist in early detection is presented within distinct areas of inquiry: Case for Early Detection: Definitions, Detection, Survival, and Challenges; Biomarkers for Early Detection; Imaging; and Collaborative Studies. In addition, an overview of efforts in familial PC is presented in an addendum to this article. It is clear from the summit deliberations that only strategically designed collaboration among investigators, institutions, and funders will lead to significant progress in early detection of sporadic PC.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Concepts: Pancreas, United States, Pancreatic cancer, Collaboration, The Work, Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig, The Summit League