Evolution

How superstitions spread

Superstitious beliefs may seem irrational, but they catch on in a society. Using an evolutionary approach to studying the emergence of coordinated behaviors, Erol Akçay and Bryce Morsky showed how a jumble of individual beliefs, including superstitions, coalesce into an accepted social norm.

Katherine Unger Baillie

What does a dolphin have in common with a fruit fly?

To determine what goes on during sleep, a trio of Penn experts studied sleep function across phylogeny—that is, the evolutionary development of species—to find the origins of the need for sleep.

Penn Today Staff