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  • August 13, 2013
  • 05:56 PM
  • 601 views

Brain Reading Reads “Brains” From A Reading Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A neat paper from Schoenmakers et al of the Dutch Donders Institute reports on Linear reconstruction of perceived images from human brain activity It introduces a new mathematical approach for decoding (or ‘brain reading’) the image that someone is looking at, pixel-by-pixel, based on the pattern of neural activity in their visual cortex. The results [...]The post Brain Reading Reads “Brains” From A Reading Brain appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • August 11, 2013
  • 06:01 AM
  • 496 views

Amazing Images From Neuroscience’s “Hubble Deep Field”

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Thanks to newly-developed “super-resolution” microscopy techniques, a group of French neuroscientists have discovered a remarkable world of complexity on a tiny scale. Writing in the Journal of Neuroscience, Deepak Nair colleagues report that: Super-Resolution Imaging Reveals That AMPA Receptors Inside Synapses Are Dynamically Organized in Nanodomains Regulated by PSD95 Neurons communicate with each other via [...]The post Amazing Images From Neuroscience’s “Hubble Deep F........ Read more »

Nair D, Hosy E, Petersen JD, Constals A, Giannone G, Choquet D, & Sibarita JB. (2013) Super-Resolution Imaging Reveals That AMPA Receptors Inside Synapses Are Dynamically Organized in Nanodomains Regulated by PSD95. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(32), 13204-24. PMID: 23926273  

  • August 10, 2013
  • 06:41 AM
  • 623 views

Is Neuroscience Really Too Small?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Back in April a paper came out in Nature Reviews Neuroscience that shocked many: Katherine Button et al’s Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience It didn’t shock me, though, skeptic that I am: I had long suspected that much of neuroscience (and science in general) is underpowered – that is, [...]The post Is Neuroscience Really Too Small? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Button KS, Ioannidis JP, Mokrysz C, Nosek BA, Flint J, Robinson ES, & Munafò MR. (2013) Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 14(5), 365-76. PMID: 23571845  

  • August 7, 2013
  • 03:47 AM
  • 533 views

Why Brain Scientists Need To Keep Heart Failure In Mind

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The Journal of Cardiac Failure is not usually high on my list of neuroscience sources, but a recent Letter to the Editor raises a very Neuroskeptic-al point: Heart Failure – An Identified but Largely Ignored Source of Errors in Postmortem Brain Volume Studies German researchers Hans-Gert Bernstein and colleagues write: We read with great interest [...]The post Why Brain Scientists Need To Keep Heart Failure In Mind appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • August 3, 2013
  • 04:02 PM
  • 542 views

How Brains Race to Cancel Errant Movements

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

You’re just about to put your hand on the hob of your electric cooker, when you remember that it was on full blast until five minutes ago, and will still be scalding hot. You try to stop yourself – but will you succeed? This kind of ‘stop!’ scenario is the subject of some most interesting [...]The post How Brains Race to Cancel Errant Movements appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Schmidt R, Leventhal DK, Mallet N, Chen F, & Berke JD. (2013) Canceling actions involves a race between basal ganglia pathways. Nature Neuroscience, 16(8), 1118-24. PMID: 23852117  

  • July 28, 2013
  • 08:24 AM
  • 755 views

Positivity: Retract The Bathwater, Save The Baby

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Last week I covered a new paper Brown et al (2013) in the journal American Psychologist. The article was strongly critical of a highly-cited paper that appeared in the same journal 8 years ago, Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing, by Barbara Fredrickson and Marcial Losada. See my original post – or [...]The post Positivity: Retract The Bathwater, Save The Baby appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Fredrickson BL, & Losada MF. (2005) Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. The American psychologist, 60(7), 678-86. PMID: 16221001  

Fredrickson BL. (2013) Updated Thinking on Positivity Ratios. American Psychologist. DOI: 10.1037/a0033584  

  • July 20, 2013
  • 10:39 AM
  • 538 views

Homosexuality Doesn’t Spread Via Social Networks

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Worries over the possibility that gay people are seeking to promote or spread their orientation are common. Sometimes these fears are expressed openly, and take the form of conspiracy theories. Then again, they can be unspoken reservations. But what’s the truth? A new study reassures us that Same-Sex Sexual Attraction Does Not Spread in Adolescent [...]The post Homosexuality Doesn’t Spread Via Social Networks appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Brakefield TA, Mednick SC, Wilson HW, De Neve JE, Christakis NA, & Fowler JH. (2013) Same-Sex Sexual Attraction Does Not Spread in Adolescent Social Networks. Archives of sexual behavior. PMID: 23842784  

  • July 16, 2013
  • 07:04 PM
  • 646 views

“Positivity Ratio” Criticized In New Sokal Affair

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

British psychologist Nick Brown and two co-authors have just published an astonishing demolition of a top-ranked paper in the field of positive psychology: The Complex Dynamics of Wishful Thinking One of the authors of the critique is Alan Sokal, the physicist who, in 1996, famously wrote a parody of then-fashionable postmodernist theorizing and had it [...]The post “Positivity Ratio” Criticized In New Sokal Affair appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • July 13, 2013
  • 03:56 PM
  • 637 views

A New Kind of Peer Review?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Writing in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, a Dr Yvo Smulders of the Netherlands makes a proposal: A two-step manuscript submission process can reduce publication bias Smulder’s point is that scientific manuscripts should be submitted for peer review with the results and discussion omitted. The reviewers would judge the submission on the strength of the [...]The post A New Kind of Peer Review? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • July 9, 2013
  • 06:16 PM
  • 434 views

Do You Know What’s Good For You?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

This post draws on the results of the controversial PACE Trial (2011), which compared the effects of four different treatment regimes for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, this post isn’t about CFS. What interests me about PACE is that it illuminates a general psychological point: the limitated nature of self-knowledge. Patients in PACE were randomized [...]The post Do You Know What’s Good For You? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • July 6, 2013
  • 08:15 AM
  • 741 views

How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

“General knowledge” is the body of facts that most people know and are assumed to know. But how general is it? How does it change over time? A lovely little study from Kent State University has revealed how American students in 2012 performed on a comprehensive test of general knowledge that was developed in 1980. By [...]The post How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012 appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • July 4, 2013
  • 03:10 PM
  • 602 views

From Lupron to PlayWisely: An Autism Journey

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new treatment for children with autism has an interesting history. Here’s the report: Prospective, Blinded Exploratory Evaluation of the PlayWisely Program in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder PlayWisely is rather like a ‘brain training‘ program of cognitive exercises, but involving a face-to-face interaction with a coach too, which is a big plus (often these [...]... Read more »

Kern JK, Garver CR, Mehta JA, Hannan PA, Bakken LE, Vidaud AM, Abraham J, & Daoud Y. (2013) Prospective, Blinded Exploratory Evaluation of the PlayWisely Program in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 86(2), 157-67. PMID: 23766737  

  • June 29, 2013
  • 08:19 AM
  • 572 views

Are Men Less Into Sex Than They Think?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Over the last month, how interested were you in sex? According to a really thought-provoking new study, your answer to that question is likely to be an overestimate – especially if you’re male: Accuracy of 30-Day Recall for Components of Sexual Function and the Moderating Effects of Gender and Mood The authors, a Duke University [...]... Read more »

  • June 27, 2013
  • 05:37 PM
  • 739 views

Autism Plus Psychosis = Mass Murder?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

According to a new paper, mass shootings such as Sandy Hook and Aurora may be the result of Autism plus psychosis: A ‘one-two punch’ risk for tragic violence? The first thing to note about this paper is that it’s in Medical Hypotheses. I don’t normally take seriously anything that appears in this rather unique journal. [...]... Read more »

  • June 23, 2013
  • 08:30 AM
  • 452 views

The Man Who Knew Moses But Not His Own Son

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

“Nissim”, a 64 year old man, knows that the word for the eldest son in a family is the “firstborn”, but he says that snow is pink and that we wear coats on our feet. A stroke left him unable to talk about anything except abstract concepts. The case of Nissim is reported in a [...]... Read more »

  • June 16, 2013
  • 10:24 AM
  • 529 views

Why Do Some Irish Drink So Much?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An interesting new paper asks Why Do Some Irish Drink So Much? (EDIT: please note, this is the actual title of the paper) In a survey of students attending University College Dublin, (n=3500 respondents), the authors examined self-reported alcohol consumption. Participants also answered various questions about their family background and their place of origin, to [...]... Read more »

  • June 12, 2013
  • 04:50 PM
  • 626 views

When Cleaning fMRI Data is a Nuisance

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A flaw in data processing could be leading to biases in fMRI brain functional connectivity patterns, according to a new report: The Nuisance of Nuisance Regression. Ironically, two high-profile recent papers about bias are amongst the victims. The new paper, from Pittsburgh’s Michael Hallquist and colleagues, is essentially about a case where 2 + 2 [...]... Read more »

  • June 8, 2013
  • 09:56 AM
  • 613 views

Smarter Children Have More Gray Matter 60 Years Later

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Your IQ at the age of eleven predicts your brain anatomy sixty years later, according to a Canadian/Scottish team of neuroscientists: Childhood cognitive ability accounts for associations between cognitive ability and brain cortical thickness in old age. The authors of the new paper, Karama et al, made use of a unique long-term study of Scottish [...]... Read more »

Karama, S., Bastin, M., Murray, C., Royle, N., Penke, L., Muñoz Maniega, S., Gow, A., Corley, J., Valdés Hernández, M., Lewis, J.... (2013) Childhood cognitive ability accounts for associations between cognitive ability and brain cortical thickness in old age. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.64  

  • June 7, 2013
  • 05:30 PM
  • 525 views

A Personal Academic Journal

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Why is a major academic publisher printing a journal that seems a lot like the newsletter of the editor’s fan club? Nursing Science Quarterly (NSQ) is published by SAGE, one of the big publishers in science and the humanities. Even I’m a SAGE contributor, having published in their Perspectives on Psychological Science. But NSQ may [...]... Read more »

  • June 2, 2013
  • 12:08 PM
  • 550 views

When Trick Questions Become False Memories

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Simply asking people whether they experienced an event can trick them into later believing that it did occur, according to a neat little study just out: Susceptibility to long-term misinformation effect outside of the laboratory Psychologists Miriam Lommen and colleagues studied 249 Dutch soldiers were deployed for a four month tour of duty in Afghanistan. [...]... Read more »

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