Sometimes the researchers’ findings might seem unusual. IQ.hse.ru publishes a compilation of the most unexpected results of the research carried out by HSE faculty or presented at HSE conferences in 2016.
On the eve of New Year’s, it is customary to take a look into the near future. We asked HSE experts in various fields to share their forecasts on which areas of research might be the most interesting and promising in 2017. They tell us about what discoveries and breakthroughs await us in 2017, as well as how this could even change our lives.
During the first year of studies, students already often feel disappointed and exhausted. Such burnout in freshman students can be caused by many reasons, such as an abundance of tasks, new classmates, the ‘wrong’ subjects, and even comments left by classmates on social media. Not everyone can manage their reactions to these situations.
It has been known for a long time that early risers work less efficiently at night than night owls do. But researchers from the Higher School of Economics and Oxford University have uncovered new and distinctive features between the night activities of these two types of individuals. At night, early risers demonstrate a quicker reaction time when solving unusual attention-related tasks than night owls, but these early risers make more mistakes along the way.
The integration of economics and biology is an emerging trend in 21st century science. A number of studies were published in the early 2000s exploring the effects of psycho-physiological variables, such as hormone levels, on individual performance in various fields. Several papers have associated the ratio of second digit (index finger) to fourth digit (ring finger) length (2D:4D ratio) with exposure to prenatal testosterone, the male hormone produced by the maternal body and influencing the foetal development.
A good knowledge of algebra and geometry helps schoolchildren to solve some other types of tasks, including applied ones. These are the findings made by researchers from HSE, Stanford, and Michigan State University in a joint study.
It has long been known to science that women find it easier than men to switch between tasks. But how exactly their brains function differently in such situations has so far been unclear. Recent research reveals that male brains appear to consume more energy when they need to shift attention. In addition to this, in men there is greater activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal areas of the brain compared to women, as well as activation in some other areas which is not usually observed in women.
The internet has changed how people approach job hunting and recruitment. Employment websites and social networks are now competing with personal connections as the key channel for offering and finding jobs and have replaced most other channels, according to Sergey Roshchin, Sergei Solntsev and student at the HSE ICEF Dmitry Vasilyev's paper 'The Evolution of Job Hunting and Recruitment in the Internet Age'.
For the last 70 years, it was largely believed that spatial processing disorders, including those seen in language, occurred when the temporal-parietal-occipital (TPO) junction of the brain’s left hemisphere was damaged. But according to researchers from the HSE Neurolinguistics Laboratory, it is the damages to the axonal fibers connected to this area of the brain that are most important.