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Berlin, Germany

The Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development is an internationally renowned social science research organization. Located in Berlin, it was initiated in 1961 and officially began operations in 1963 under the name Institute for Educational Research in the Max Planck Society, before receiving its current name in 1971. Its co-founder and first director was Hellmut Becker. The institute is part of the Human science Section of the Max Planck Society.Research activities focus on the development and education of humans, with an emphasis on basic research. The concept of education is defined broadly, embracing both formal educational processes as well as developmental processes from childhood to old age. Currently, around 350 employees contribute to interdisciplinary research in four research centers and three research groups.Center for Adaptive Rationality Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition Center for Lifespan Psychology Research Center History of Emotions Max Planck Research Group Affect Across the Lifespan Max Planck Research Group Felt Communities? Emotions in European Music Performances Max Planck Research Group REaD . In addition, the Harding Center for Risk Literacy was opened in April 2009. Motivating its research is the vision of enlightened individuals who are equipped to deal with risks in the modern technological world in an informed way. Director of the Harding Center is Gerd Gigerenzer.The Research Center of Educational Research ended its activities in 2010. Its best-known projects were the TIMS study and the PISA study, whose results received wide attention by both the mass media and politicians.The institute is located in Wilmersdorf, a neighbourhood in the southwest of Berlin, immediately bordering on the neighborhood of Dahlem, and is therefore considered part of Dahlem's traditional science district. This is home to a number of scientific organizations such as the Free University Berlin, which works together with the institute.The founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development was Hellmut Becker, subsequently joined by Dietrich Goldschmidt and Saul B. Robinsohn as the first generation of directors. They were followed by directors Wolfgang Edelstein , Peter M. Roeder and Friedrich Edding , Paul B. Baltes , Karl Ulrich Mayer , Jürgen Baumert , Gerd Gigerenzer , Ulman Lindenberger , Ute Frevert , and Ralph Hertwig . Wikipedia.

Filimon F.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development

In primates, control of the limb depends on many cortical areas. Whereas specialized parietofrontal circuits have been proposed for different movements in macaques, functional neuroimaging in humans has revealed widespread, overlapping activations for hand and eye movements and for movements such as reaching and grasping. This review examines the involvement of frontal and parietal areas in hand and arm movements in humans as revealed with functional neuroimaging. The degree of functional specialization, possible homologies with macaque cortical regions, and differences between frontal and posterior parietal areas are discussed, as well as a possible organization of hand movements with respect to different spatial reference frames. The available evidence supports a cortical organization along gradients of sensory (visual to somatosensory) and effector (eye to hand) preferences. © The Author(s) 2010. Source

Muller L.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Pawelec G.,University of Tubingen
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Immune responses to pathogens to which they were not previously exposed are commonly less effective in elderly people than in young adults, whereas those to agents previously encountered and overcome in earlier life may be amplified. This is reflected in the robust finding in many studies that the proportions and numbers of naïve B and T cells are lower and memory cells higher in the elderly. In addition to the "extrinsic" effects of pathogen exposure, "intrinsic" events such as age-associated differences in haematopoeitic stem cells and their niches in the bone marrow associated with differences in cell maturation and output to the periphery are also observed. In the case of T cells, the "intrinsic" process of thymic involution, beginning before puberty, further contributes to reducing the production of naïve T cells. Like memory T cell populations, innate immune cells may be increased in number but decreased in efficacy on a per-cell basis. Thus, superimposed on chronological age alone, remodelling of immunity as a result of interactions with the environment over the life course is instrumental in shaping immune status in later life. In addition to interactions with pathogens, host microbiome and nutrition, exercise and stress, and many other extrinsic factors are crucial modulators of this "immunosenescence" process. In this review, we briefly outline the observed immune differences between younger and older people, and discuss the possible impacts of behavioral variations thereon. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Gigerenzer G.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Topics in Cognitive Science

What is the nature of moral behavior? According to the study of bounded rationality, it results not from character traits or rational deliberation alone, but from the interplay between mind and environment. In this view, moral behavior is based on pragmatic social heuristics rather than moral rules or maximization principles. These social heuristics are not good or bad per se, but solely in relation to the environments in which they are used. This has methodological implications for the study of morality: Behavior needs to be studied in social groups as well as in isolation, in natural environments as well as in labs. It also has implications for moral policy: Only by accepting the fact that behavior is a function of both mind and environmental structures can realistic prescriptive means of achieving moral goals be developed. © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. Source

Marewski J.N.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Cognitive processing

What cognitive capabilities allow Homo sapiens to successfully bet on the stock market, to catch balls in baseball games, to accurately predict the outcomes of political elections, or to correctly decide whether a patient needs to be allocated to the coronary care unit? It is a widespread belief in psychology and beyond that complex judgment tasks require complex solutions. Countering this common intuition, in this article, we argue that in an uncertain world actually the opposite is true: Humans do not need complex cognitive strategies to make good inferences, estimations, and other judgments; rather, it is the very simplicity and robustness of our cognitive repertoire that makes Homo sapiens a capable decision maker. Source

Hertwig R.,University of Basel | Hertwig R.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development

The subjective confidence of individuals in groups can be a valid predictor of accuracy in decision-making tasks. Source

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