16 posts · 19,963 views
It's a Blog. It has Stuff on it. Some of the Stuff is Professional and some of it is Personal, but most of it is Not Very Good.
In a “comments and controversies” piece published in NeuroImage last week, Karl Friston describes “Ten ironic rules for non-statistical reviewers”. As the title suggests, the piece is presented ironically; Friston frames it as a series of guidelines reviewers can follow in order to ensure successful rejection of any neuroimaging paper. But of course, Friston’s real [...]... Read more »
Tor Wager and I have a “news and views” piece in Nature Methods this week; we discuss a paper by Mantini and colleagues (in the same issue) introducing a new method for identifying functional brain homologies across different species–essentially, identifying brain regions in humans and monkeys that seem to do roughly the same thing even if they’re [...]... Read more »
Mantini D, Hasson U, Betti V, Perrucci MG, Romani GL, Corbetta M, Orban GA, & Vanduffel W. (2012) Interspecies activity correlations reveal functional correspondence between monkey and human brain areas. Nature methods. PMID: 22306809
Wager, T., & Yarkoni, T. (2012) Establishing homology between monkey and human brains. Nature Methods. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1869
Real-world data are messy. Relationships between two variables can take on an infinite number of forms, and while one doesn’t see, say, umbrella-shaped data very often, strange things can happen. When scientists talk about correlations or associations between variables, they’re usually referring to one very specific form of relationship–namely, a linear one. The assumption is [...]... Read more »
Unless you’ve been pleasantly napping under a rock for the last couple of months, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about a forthcoming article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP) purporting to provide strong evidence for the existence of some ESP-like phenomenon. (If you’ve been napping, see here, here, here, here, here, [...]... Read more »
Bem, D. J. (2011) Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/
The latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience contains an interesting article by Ecker et al in which the authors attempted to classify people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and health controls based on their brain anatomy, and report achieving “a sensitivity and specificity of up to 90% and 80%, respectively.” Before unpacking what that [...]... Read more »
Ecker C, Marquand A, Mourão-Miranda J, Johnston P, Daly EM, Brammer MJ, Maltezos S, Murphy CM, Robertson D, Williams SC.... (2010) Describing the brain in autism in five dimensions--magnetic resonance imaging-assisted diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder using a multiparameter classification approach. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(32), 10612-23. PMID: 20702694
If you regularly read cognitive science or psychology blogs (or even just the lowly New York Times!), you’ve probably heard of something called the Dunning-Kruger effect. The Dunning-Kruger effect refers to the seemingly pervasive tendency of poor performers to overestimate their abilities relative to other people–and, to a lesser extent, for high performers to underestimate [...]... Read more »
Kruger J, & Dunning D. (1999) Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of personality and social psychology, 77(6), 1121-34. PMID: 10626367
Krueger J, & Mueller RA. (2002) Unskilled, unaware, or both? The better-than-average heuristic and statistical regression predict errors in estimates of own performance. Journal of personality and social psychology, 82(2), 180-8. PMID: 11831408
Burson KA, Larrick RP, & Klayman J. (2006) Skilled or unskilled, but still unaware of it: how perceptions of difficulty drive miscalibration in relative comparisons. Journal of personality and social psychology, 90(1), 60-77. PMID: 16448310
A new paper published online this week in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism this week discusses the infamous problem of circular analysis in fMRI research. The paper is aptly titled “Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask,” and is authored by several well-known biostatisticians and [...]... Read more »
Kriegeskorte N, Lindquist MA, Nichols TE, Poldrack RA, & Vul E. (2010) Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. PMID: 20571517
There’s a ubiquitous problem in experimental psychology studies that use behavioral measures that require participants to make speeded responses. The problem is that, in general, the longer people take to do something, the more likely they are to do it correctly. If I have you do a visual search task and ask you to tell [...]... Read more »
Yarkoni T, Barch DM, Gray JR, Conturo TE, & Braver TS. (2009) BOLD correlates of trial-by-trial reaction time variability in gray and white matter: a multi-study fMRI analysis. PloS one, 4(1). PMID: 19165335
Grinband J, Wager TD, Lindquist M, Ferrera VP, & Hirsch J. (2008) Detection of time-varying signals in event-related fMRI designs. NeuroImage, 43(3), 509-20. PMID: 18775784
A forthcoming article in the journal Pediatrics that’s been getting a lot of press attention suggests that exposure to common pesticides may be associated with a substantially elevated risk of ADHD. More precisely, what the study found was that elevated urinary concentrations of organophosphate metabolites were associated with an increased likelihood of meeting criteria for [...]... Read more »
Bouchard, M., Bellinger, D., Wright, R., & Weisskopf, M. (2010) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-3058
There’s a beautiful paper in Nature this week by Adrian Owen and colleagues that provides what’s probably as close to definitive evidence as you can get in any single study that “brain training” programs don’t work. Or at least, to the extent that they do work, the effects are so weak they’re probably not worth [...]... Read more »
There are probably lots of criteria you could use to determine the relative importance of different scientific disciplines, but the one I like best is the Largest Number of Authors on a Paper. Physicists have long had their hundred-authored papers (see for example this individual here; be sure to click on the “show all authors/affiliations” [...]... Read more »
Craig Bennett and Mike Miller have a new paper on the reliability of fMRI. It’s a nice review that I think most people who work with fMRI will want to read. Bennett and Miller discuss a number of issues related to reliability, including why we should care about the reliability of fMRI, what factors influence [...]... Read more »
Bennett, C. M., & Miller, M. B. (2010) How reliable are the results from functional magnetic resonance imaging?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. info:/
Jonah Lehrer has an interesting article in the NYT magazine about a recent Psych Review article by Paul Andrews and J. Anderson Thomson. The basic claim Andrews and Thomson make in their paper is that depression is “an adaptation that evolved as a response to complex problems and whose function is to minimize disruption of [...]... Read more »
Andrews, P., & Thomson, J. (2009) The bright side of being blue: Depression as an adaptation for analyzing complex problems. Psychological Review, 116(3), 620-654. DOI: 10.1037/a0016242
I have a policy of not saying negative things about people (or places, or things) on this blog, and I think I’ve generally been pretty good about adhering to that policy. But I also think it’s important for scientists to speak up in cases where journalists or other scientists misrepresent scientific research in a way [...]... Read more »
Morrison, C., & Gore, H. (2010) The Relationship between Excessive Internet Use and Depression: A Questionnaire-Based Study of 1,319 Young People and Adults. Psychopathology, 43(2), 121-126. DOI: 10.1159/000277001
One of the frustrating things about personality research–for both researchers and participants–is that personality is usually measured using self-report questionnaires, and filling out self-report questionnaires can take a very long time. It doesn’t have to take a very long time, mind you; some questionnaires are very short, like the widely-used Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), which [...]... Read more »
Yarkoni, T. (2010) The Abbreviation of Personality, or how to Measure 200 Personality Scales with 200 Items. Journal of Research in Personality. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2010.01.002
Andrew Gelman posted a link on his blog today to a paper by John Ioannidis I hadn’t seen before. In many respects, it’s basically the same paper I wrote earlier this year as a commentary on the Vul et al “voodoo correlations” paper (the commentary was itself based largely on an earlier chapter I wrote [...]... Read more »
Ioannidis, J. (2008) Why Most Discovered True Associations Are Inflated. Epidemiology, 19(5), 640-648. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31818131e7
Yarkoni, T. (2009) Big Correlations in Little Studies: Inflated fMRI Correlations Reflect Low Statistical Power-Commentary on Vul et al. (2009). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(3), 294-298. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01127.x
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