Uniting Science and Film
The film Alive Inside by American director Michael Rossato-Bennett discusses the surprising results of treating Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders with the help of music. The director first got the idea to make the film after he met Dan Cohen, a volunteer at a nursing home. Cohen once noticed that patients’ behavior changes when they hear their favorite music on an MP3 player. They not only begin to react to what is happening, but their motor skills, speech, and even memory return. Music therapy can be used to treat memory disorders and rehabilitate patients after strokes and traumatic brain injuries. And if a person does not like music, watching football games might help as well; it is most important that the individual have some sort of emotional response.
Rossato-Bennett was happy to take part in the scientific film festival and noted: ‘Science is very profound. If you take science and mix it with your heart you can solve the problems of the world. I adore this festival, it’s a great experience’.
After the film was shown, a discussion began that saw the participation of Natalia Varako, an Associate Professor in the Department of General and Experimental Psychology of HSE’s Faculty of Psychology. Professor Varako described how Russian specialists also know about the healing power of music and actively use it not only to treat patients with memory disorders, but also to rehabilitate those who have suffered from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and even illnesses not related to the brain.
‘I really liked the film. I believe it is very important in resolving problems with aging and rehabilitating the sick. I think it should be seen by people who deal with regulatory frameworks and financial security. This problem is the same for both the U.S. and Russia – it’s much simpler to buy a tonne of medicine than it is a few MP3 players with headphones,’ Natalia Varako comments. Professor Varako also said she was actively using music therapy at N.V. Sklifosovsky Institute of Emergency Medicine (SRIEM), where she works as a medical psychologist in the neurology division. ‘One must understand, of course, that music is not a panacea. The effects will not always be seen, but this is still an undoubtedly critical component to rehabilitation,’ she concludes.
The 360° Contemporary Science Film Festival includes work by people who portray current scientific research and achievements in a way that is accessible to even those far removed from science. The main organizer of the festival is the Polytechnic Museum. Screenings will take place in Moscow in mid-October, as well as in a number of other cities at various times of the year. This year, five films were shown at the HSE as part of the festival.
HSE psychologists have studied how the presence or absence of siblings, as well as birth order, affect children’s ability to maintainpersonal boundaries. The results showed that only children and second-born children have the strongest sense of personal boundaries, while first-born children have the least. However, as children become adults, their ability to balance between their own needs and those of others becomes determined more by gender.
September 4, 2019 was a day of firsts for the School of Psychology and the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making. Zachary Yaple, who was born in the United States and grew up in England, defended his dissertation, 'Neurophysiological Correlates of Risky Decision-Making'. His defense marked the first PhD to be prepared at the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making and the first PhD to be awarded to an international student by the Doctoral School of Psychology.
When reading words on a screen, the human brain comprehends words placed on the right side of the screen faster. The total amount of presented information on the screen also affects the speed and accuracy of the brain’s ability to process words. These are the findings of HSE researchers Elena Gorbunova and Maria Falikman presented in an article that was published in the journal, Advances in Cognitive Psychology.
Educators do not always deal with student aggression in the most effective manner. Sometimes teachers resort to severe and unsystematic methods that only make the bullying worse. According to researchers of the HSE Laboratory for Prevention of Asocial Behavior, the problem requires a comprehensive approach: aggression prevention programmes need to be incorporated into educational policy, and, in turn, schools need to foster supportive psychological climate and trust between teachers and students.
More than 64% of employed Russians work evenings, nights or weekends, and this is one of the highest figures among European countries. Andrei Shevchuk and Anna Krasilnikova were the first to study the extent of nonstandard working hours in Russia and its impact on work-life balance.
Their initial tests were carried out with football fans, by measuring their emotional state. It turned out that, on average, uncertainty about a match result can increase the probability of unhappiness by 13.6%. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
Touching different types of surfaces may incur certain emotions. This was the conclusion made by psychologists in a recent empirical study. Previously, emotional perception was generally studied in relation to visual and audial modalities.
The round table on ‘Psychological Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ brought together a range of scholars and one industry professional to talk about how a user’s digital footprint—or ‘digital traces’—can be used to discern a person’s psychological state, predict their behavior, and, potentially, even improve their psychological wellbeing.
Researchers from the HSE Perm, in collaboration with an American colleague, confirmed the theory that impostor syndrome fully mediates the link between perfectionism and psychological distress
Abusive supervisors who undermine and bully employees cost U.S. corporations an estimated $24 billion annually. Evgenia Balabanova, Maria Borovik and Veronika Deminskaya are the first researchers to study the problem in Russia.