July 2017 in NYU Research

Top findings from the past month.

This month...

collage: fish over Dublin

NYU researchers found that people with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes—but are also more able to "unlearn" these stereotypes when re-trained with new information. 

A study of 1500 preschoolers in Delhi showed that although playing math games improved skills like numerical estimation and name recognition of numbers and shapes, this informal training had no effect on the children's later learning of formal mathematics in primary school.

The NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress professor Debra F. Laefer released the world's densest urban aerial laser scanning (LiDAR) dataset—covering a 1.5 square kilometer area of Dublin's historic city center at a resolution of 300 points per square meter. This will allow for the creation of 3D models that accurately represent building geometry, curb height, vegetation, and utility lines.

NYU Tandon engineers exposed live zebrafish to a biomimetic robot fish that looked and swam like a real red tiger oscar to demonstrate how information theory can offer insight into cause-and-effect relationships between predator and prey.

In medicine, Langone researchers found air pollution exposure in early pregnancy could increase risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, that patient navigator programs at local barbershops made aging black men twice as likely to get screened for colorectal cancer, and that a commonly prescribed Alzheimer's disease drug worked 7.5 times better when used with a care management system that included caregiver training, residence assessment, therapeutic home visits, and caregiver support groups.

illustration: face in profile made of clocks

Exploring the mystery of how short-term memories become long-term ones, NYU neuroscientists theorized: “Much like sound is broken down by the auditory system into many discrete bins of frequencies that are perceived simultaneously, an experience as a whole is parsed by the brain into many ‘time windows’ that collectively represent the past."