2017 in NYU Research

Seventeen NYU research findings that made headlines in 2017.
photo: microscope in a lab

  1. By the age of 6, girls are less likely than boys to think of their own gender as "smart." 
  2. Human ancestors were making art as early as 38,000 years ago.
  3. The practice of foraging for fruit may be what gave primates their big brains.
  4. Fingerprint sensors on mobile phones might be more easily fooled than previously thought.
  5. Tweets with moral-emotional language are more likely to go viral—but only within their own political "bubbles."
  6. Eruptions of Siberian volcanoes caused a mass extinction 250 million years ago.
  7. People with autism see their niche interests as strength and career paths, not deficits.
  8. Bilingual children are better than their monolingual peers at recognizing speakers' voices.
  9. People with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply stereotypes.
  10. The first-ever "mutant ants"—genetically engineered to lack a sense of smell—were unable to communicate with one another.
  11. Video games like Minecraft can improve the mental health and educational outcomes of Syrian refugee children.
  12. A species of tiny, transparent roundworm has reproduced asexually for 18 million years.
  13. Attending a middle school—as opposed to a K-8 school—may hurt students' perceptions of their academic abilities.
  14. Virtual reality could be used to rehabilitate patients suffering from balance problems.
  15. Vividness of imagery is the greatest predictor of which poems people found aesthetically appealing.
  16. Community organizations play a large and understudied role in the reduction of violent crime.
  17. Watching too much TV can hinder kindergarten readiness—especially among poor kids.