Seeking the hidden causes of behavior, some scientists work on the scale of brain regions and neurons, searching inside people's heads. Others work on the scale of crowds, neighborhoods and nations, seeking hidden patterns in the way multitudes behave. What's unusual about this paper in PLoS One is that it combines both those perspectives: Mehdi Moussaïd and his co-authors have worked out the physical effects of a psychological motivation. That gave them a new way to predict how people wa........ Read more »
Moussaïd, M., Perozo, N., Garnier, S., Helbing, D., & Theraulaz, G. (2010) The Walking Behaviour of Pedestrian Social Groups and Its Impact on Crowd Dynamics. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010047
"Voodoo correlations in social neuroscience" was the original title of a paper that first caused a stir in late December 2008, when a manuscript accepted by Perspectives on Psychological Science was made available on the authors' websites. Vul, Harris, Winkielman, and Pashler produced a "bombshell of a paper" that questioned the implausibly high correlations observed in some fMRI studies in the field of Social Neuroscience. Ed Vul et al. surveyed the authors of 54 papers to determine the an........ Read more »
Lieberman, M., Berkman, E., & Wager, T. (2009) Correlations in Social Neuroscience Aren't Voodoo: Commentary on Vul et al. (2009). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(3), 299-307. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01128.x
Craig Bennett (of Prefrontal.org) and Michael Miller, of dead fish brain scan fame, have a new paper out: How reliable are the results from functional magnetic resonance imaging?Tal over at the  blog has an excellent in-depth discussion of the paper, and Mind Hacks has a good summary, but here's my take on what it all means in practical terms.Suppose you scan someone's brain while they're looking at a picture of a cat. You find that certain parts of their brain are activated to ........ Read more »
Bennett CM, Miller MB. (2010) How reliable are the results from functional magnetic resonance imaging?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. info:/
Significant p-values. For so many scientists using statistics, this is your lord. Your master. Heck, it has its own facebook group filed under religious affiliations (ok, so, maybe I created that.) And it is a concept to whose slavish devotion we may have sacrificed a good bit of forward progress [...]... Read more »
Hurlbert, S. H., & Lombardi, C. M. (2009) Final collapse of the Neyman-Pearson decision theoretic framework and rise of the neoFisherian. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 311-349. info:/
Let me be frank; I think “The conjunction fallacy and interference effects” (ungated version) is a horrible misuse of math and indicates an embarrassing failure of peer review.
The author, Riccardo Franco, introduces a parameter that does doesn’t have any foundation in the phenomena it is trying to explain, nor is it shown to aid in [...]... Read more »
There is considerable deliberations on the international policy agreements on each countries’ magnitude of CO2 reductions to avert catastrophic consequences due to climate change. The main indicator for the allocations are based on the percentage reductions in emission rates relative to 1990. This has had a tendency to split international negotiations into developed and developing countries. The difficulty is due to four main factors with respect to each country: population levels, wealth,........ Read more »
Zickfeld, K., Eby, M., Matthews, H., & Weaver, A. (2009) From the Cover: Setting cumulative emissions targets to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(38), 16129-16134. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0805800106
I've been working on fitting some excess relative risk (ERR) models to case-control data on occupational exposures lately. ERR models are of the form:RR=1+β*XIn SAS, unfortunately, we don't have unlimited freedom in defining the form of the model we want to fit, but a recent paper by Langholz and Richardson [behind firewall] describes a way that we can solve for parameters once we specify the likelihood function. (For those interested, the likelihood function can be thought of as the ........ Read more »
Langholz, B., & Richardson, D. (2009) Fitting General Relative Risk Models for Survival Time and Matched Case-Control Analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(3), 377-383. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwp403
A study in PNAS looks at the link between teacher anxiety and the gender gap in math achievement...... Read more »
Beilock, S., Gunderson, E., Ramirez, G., & Levine, S. (2010) Female teachers' math anxiety affects girls' math achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5), 1860-1863. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910967107
I want to take a look at Gender and Math Achievement over the next couple of days, and this study seemed the natural starting point. Why all of this? Because hearing "girls are just not good at math" makes me cringe...... Read more »
The structure of online discussions are partially determined by its platform. Whether it is through blogs, BBS, chat, email and other online platforms, the depth, dynamicity, communicability, accountability, communability and the behavior of the discussions vary. As an easy example, the presence of anonymity limits the responsibility and accountability of the communicator — diluting the constructiveness of the thought into a more emotional one. Huffington Post utilizes a thumbs up/down sys........ Read more »
You've just finished doing some research using fMRI to measure brain activity. You designed the study, recruited the volunteers, and did all the scans. Phew. Is that it? Can you publish the findings yet?Unfortunately, no. You still need to do the analysis, and this is often the most trickiest stage. The raw data produced during an fMRI experiment are meaningless - in most cases, each scan will give you a few hundred almost-identical grey pictures of the person's brain. Making sense of them requi........ Read more »
Fusar-Poli, P., Bhattacharyya, S., Allen, P., Crippa, J., Borgwardt, S., Martin-Santos, R., Seal, M., O’Carroll, C., Atakan, Z., & Zuardi, A. (2010) Effect of image analysis software on neurofunctional activation during processing of emotional human faces. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2009.06.027
Because of my research I’m interested in term correlation not just in pairs but in groups of ‘n’ terms (ngrams). Looking for some statistic measures and explanations about the advantages and implementations of Log-Likelihood measures I reached:
Joaquim Ferreira da Silva, & Gabriel Pereira Lopes (1999). A Local Maxima method and a Fair Dispersion Normalization for
extracting multi-word units from corpora Sixth Meeting on Mathematics of Language
In this paper the authors present a new al........ Read more »
Joaquim Ferreira da Silva, & Gabriel Pereira Lopes. (1999) A Local Maxima method and a Fair Dispersion Normalization for extracting multi-word units from corpora . Sixth Meeting on Mathematics of Language. info:/
The hazard ratio is the statistic of choice for nearly all medical research involving time. And by far the most common method of deriving hazard ratios from data is via the Cox Proportional Hazards model. In a great little editorial in this month's Epidemiology, Miguel Hernán lays out what we lose and what we can gain with a more subtle approach.... Read more »
A wide range of naturally occurring number collections show a very distinct pattern: They more often feature a "one" as their first digit than any other number. This distributive feature has been described as Benford's law. Benford's law is an intriguing classic well worth (re-)appreciating; especially since it is often misunderstood...... Read more »
Multilevel (or hierarchical) regression modeling is very popular in the social sciences. So what I want to do is a hierarchical quantile regression of the 75% quantile of time spent in jail. And that was my question for Andrew Gelman.... Read more »
Carmichael SL, Witte JS, & Shaw GM. (2009) Nutrient pathways and neural tube defects: a semi-Bayesian hierarchical analysis. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 20(1), 67-73. PMID: 19234400
Science continues with a series of essays commemorating the year of Darwin. This week (and by this week I mean the one I got this week, actually dated 6th of November) the topic is the evolutionary origins of religion.
This is quite an interesting topic to which I was first introduced with Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the spell: religion as a natural phenomenom. The central premise is that there could be evolutionary advantages to communities in which individuals follow ways of thi........ Read more »
With banks being bailed out all over the place these days, many people are asking themselves why those in charge get paid such high salaries. Are CEOs really worth their million pound bonuses? Not according to Venkat Venkatasubramanian, who has calculated that US chief executives get paid nearly 130 times what they should.
As a professor [...]... Read more »
Venkatasubramanian, V. (2009) What is Fair Pay for Executives? An Information Theoretic Analysis of Wage Distributions. Entropy, 11(4), 766-781. DOI: 10.3390/e11040766
The scenario is familiar to us all – Some sort of disease begins in a small town or large city, it spreads rapidly, infecting everyone in its wake, the infected become mindless, murderous creatures, hellbent on consuming or converting everyone they encounter, the walking dead. Finally, through some heroic effort, the survivors either turn back [...]... Read more »
C. J. Efthimiou, & S. Gandhi. (2006) Cinema Fiction vs Physics Reality: Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies. Skeptical Inquirer v. 31, issue 4 (2007), p. 27. arXiv: physics/0608059v2
D Sejdinovic. (2008) Mathematics of the Human-Vampire Conflict. Math Horizons. info:/
Hartl, R., Mehlmann, A., & Novak, A. (1992) Cycles of fear: Periodic bloodsucking rates for vampires. Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, 75(3), 559-568. DOI: 10.1007/BF00940492
Not only in the medical academic workforce are women underrepresented this also counts for science in general.
Women earned 31.3% of chemistry PhD degrees between 1993 and 2003 but in 2002 were hired for only 21.5% of assistant professorships. Similar disparities exist for new faculty appointments in physics, engineering, and mathematics.
As far as mathematics are concerned [...]
Related posts:Bill O’Reilly Has to Learn His Maths Question: Why have so many more people in the...Neuroant........ Read more »
Burkley, M., Parker, J., Paul Stermer, S., & Burkley, E. (2009) Trait beliefs that make women vulnerable to math disengagement. Personality and Individual Differences. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2009.09.002
Ceci, S., Williams, W., & Barnett, S. (2009) Women's underrepresentation in science: Sociocultural and biological considerations. Psychological Bulletin, 135(2), 218-261. DOI: 10.1037/a0014412
I've been endlessly scoring digit-symbol coding protocols (fun...), a subtest of the WAIS-IV measuring working memory, for the past few weeks at my new neuropsych externship so the following article seems particularly relevant. In a recent study by Cantlon and colleagues published in the latest Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, they decided to measure the brain activity of 6-7 year-old children during numerical comparison tasks using fMRI.An example of a numerical comparsion task:...participant........ Read more »
Song JH, & Nakayama K. (2008) Numeric comparison in a visually-guided manual reaching task. Cognition, 106(2), 994-1003. PMID: 17512516
Levitin, D. (2009) The Neural Correlates of Temporal Structure in Music. Music and Medicine, 1(1), 9-13. DOI: 10.1177/1943862109338604
Cantlon, J., Libertus, M., Pinel, P., Dehaene, S., Brannon, E., & Pelphrey, K. (2009) The Neural Development of an Abstract Concept of Number. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(11), 2217-2229. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2008.21159
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