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  • November 27, 2011
  • 05:24 PM

Sapolsky Religion Lecture Dissected Part 1/6

by DJ Busby in Astronasty

Sapolsky admits that this brilliant lecture is often met with considerable resistance by some religious types. Here, my goal is to dissect his lecture and provide adequate scholarly references to clarify and validate his argument; to reaffirm that his lecture is based on unbiased science.... Read more »

Torgersen, Svenn. (1985) Relationship of Schizotypal Personality Disorder to Schizophrenia: Genetics. Schizophrenia Bulletin , 11(4). info:/

Owen, M., Williams, H., & O’Donovan, M. (2009) Schizophrenia genetics: advancing on two fronts. Current Opinion in Genetics , 19(3), 266-270. DOI: 10.1016/j.gde.2009.02.008  

Kurotaki, N., Tasaki, S., Mishima, H., Ono, S., Imamura, A., Kikuchi, T., Nishida, N., Tokunaga, K., Yoshiura, K., & Ozawa, H. (2011) Identification of Novel Schizophrenia Loci by Homozygosity Mapping Using DNA Microarray Analysis. PLoS ONE, 6(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020589  

  • November 26, 2011
  • 09:52 AM

Beware Dead Fish Statistics

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

An editorial in the Journal of Physiology offers some important notes on statistics.But even more importantly, it refers to a certain blog in the process:The Student’s t-test merely quantifies the ‘Lack of support’ for no effect. It is left to the user of the test to decide how convincing this lack might be. A further difficulty is evident in the repeated samples we show in Figure 2: one of those samples was quite improbable because the P-value was 0.03, which suggests a substantial lack o........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2011
  • 05:02 AM

The stupid things Scientists say: What the jargon really means…

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Don’t scientists talk a load of old prattle? Put an academic in front of a TV camera, and it’s odd how many of the world’s top brains seem unable to communicate what they mean. Of course there are the exceptions, and often they are scooped up by news agencies and media outlets. I remember being [...]... Read more »

Somerville, R., & Hassol, S. (2011) Communicating the science of climate change. Physics Today, 64(10), 48. DOI: 10.1063/PT.3.1296  

  • November 24, 2011
  • 01:19 PM

Working Memory (with R Code!)

by Ryan in Epidemiology as a liberal art

Just got Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow for my birthday, and if the first two chapters are any indication, this is an amazing book.To prove it, I just wasted 3 hours programming up Kahneman's Add-1 exercise in R. In his words:To start, make up several strings of 4 digits, all different, and write each string on an index card. Place a blank card on top of the deck. The task you will perform is called Add-1. Here is how it goes: Start beating a steady rhythm. Remove the blank ........ Read more »

Tursky B, Shapiro D, Crider A, & Kahneman D. (1969) Pupillary, heart rate, and skin resistance changes during a mental task. Journal of experimental psychology, 79(1), 164-7. PMID: 5785627  

  • November 23, 2011
  • 12:03 PM

O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Estimating fp

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

In Drake equation, fp stays for a fraction of stars that have planets. The Drake estimate for this parameter was fp=0.5. Which means that 50% of stars in Milky Way may have planets. In its modern estimate fp~ 0.4 (Marcy et al , 2005), however this number can become much higher with developing more precise techniques for planet detection.... Read more »

  • November 23, 2011
  • 10:18 AM

Signal received from the lost Russian Phobos-Grunt Mars probe

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

Signal received from the lost Russian Phobos-Grunt Mars probe... Read more »

Harvey, Brian. (2007) The rebirth of the Russian space program 50 years after Sputnik, new frontiers . Springer-Praxis books in space exploration. info:other/

  • November 23, 2011
  • 10:08 AM

Signal received from the lost Russian Phobos-Grunt Mars probe

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

... Read more »

Harvey, Brian. (2007) The rebirth of the Russian space program 50 years after Sputnik, new frontiers . Springer-Praxis books in space exploration. info:other/

  • November 22, 2011
  • 11:00 PM

Some data on college degrees

by Ryan in Epidemiology as a liberal art

An article in the New York Times a few weeks ago got a lot of attention in the science blogging world. It described the high attrition rate of college students in STEM fields, and made the basic argument that science and engineering curricula are too hard, too dry, and far too divorced from reality. The answer? Projects. Group projects. Hardly earth-shattering if you've been through an engineering program recently, but the article raised some interesting points about heavily abstract coursework ........ Read more »

  • November 22, 2011
  • 04:51 PM

Can We Reduce the Carbon Cost of Scientific Mega-Meetings?

by jebyrnes in I'm a chordata, urochordata!

I admit it. I love big scientific meetings. There’s something about the intense intellectual hubbub of thousands of my fields greatest minds gathered in one place for a few days of showing off the latest, greatest, flashiest work that just fills me with joy. Also a need to sleep for a week afterwards due to [...]... Read more »

Ponette-González, Alexandra G, & Jarrett E Byrnes. (2011) Sustainable Science? Reducing the Carbon Impact of Scientific Mega-Meetings. Ethnobiology Letters, 65-71. info:other/

  • November 22, 2011
  • 01:48 PM

The trouble with in-laws… (Holiday Edition!)

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

The holidays are time for cheer and goodwill, but can sometimes be buried under stress and scrutiny – especially from your in-laws. Read on to learn about how research says you should handle these sometimes fragile relationships during the holidays. ... Read more »

  • November 21, 2011
  • 03:22 PM

Why speeding neutrinos are interesting for social scientists

by Rense Nieuwenhuis in Curving Normality

In the world as we understand it, based on Einstein, nothing can go faster than light. This prediction based on the general theory of relativity has proven itself countless times in empirical research. And now, lo and behold, a group at CERN has observed neutrino’s racing through earth from France/Switzerland to Italy at the World-record breaking speed of slightly above light-speed!... Read more »

The OPERA Collaboraton: T. Adam et al. (2011) Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam. Arxiv. arXiv: 1109.4897v2

  • November 21, 2011
  • 03:08 PM

Wrong for science?

by TGIQ in The Bug Geek

Last night I was up too late (again), nursing a too-busy brain with a good dose of Internet, when the Twitterverse led me to an post by Marie-Claire Shanahan on the blog Boundary Vision, entitled, “Who is the traditional right type of person for science?” It would appear there are some common themes in terms [...]... Read more »

  • November 20, 2011
  • 10:58 PM

Level of Measurement and Archaeological Dating

by teofilo in Gambler's House

In 1946 the psychologist Stanley Smith Stevens, founder and director of Harvard’s Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, published a short article in Science laying out a classification scheme for scales of measurement.  This system, and the four scales it proposed, would go on to become extremely influential in the quantitative sciences, and it is still widely used.  I [...]... Read more »

  • November 20, 2011
  • 04:25 PM

Who is the traditional right type of person for science?

by Marie-Claire Shanahan in Boundary Vision

A study asking high school students for their views on what type of people qualify as the right type to do science.... Read more »

  • November 17, 2011
  • 06:42 AM

The reluctance of science to open up

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

I finally had the chance to read Michael Nielsen‘s book ‘Reinventing discovery‘ - a must read for anyone interested in scientific discovery. Why? Well, because the closed, individual way in which we organize science today in many ways is hampering progress and may eventually become a thing of the past. If you are in science, why did you [...]... Read more »

Hardin, G. (1968) The Tragedy of the Commons. Science, 162(3859), 1243-1248. DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3859.1243  

  • November 16, 2011
  • 07:54 AM

On the importance of science research blogs and how YOU can vote to support students who blog about science!

by Heather in Escaping Anergy: The Immunology Research Blog

Blogs devoted to engaging the public with discussion about scientific research is vital to the advancement of our society, however these important sources of information need YOUR support to advocate science communication. Escaping Anergy was selected as a finalist for a blogging scholarship and needs YOUR vote to win!! Your support is greatly appreciated!!!... Read more »

  • November 15, 2011
  • 01:59 AM

Diagnostic Errors in Psychiatry

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Diagnostic errors are hot these days. this subject is of importance for patient safety and as such attention on this subject has increased. Previously I wrote about a diagnostic error, the availability bias. There are many more possible cognitive diagnostic errors to be made by physicians. Some diagnostic errors are more common in psychiatry. [...]

No related posts.... Read more »

  • November 14, 2011
  • 05:20 AM

Can you spot the fake brain computer interface?

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A team of bogus developers are applying for crowd funding for a project that does not exist. Can you spot the flaws?... Read more »

Damian Cruse, Srivas Chennu, Camille Chatelle, Tristan A Bekinschtein, Davinia Fernández-Espejo, John D Pickard, Steven Laureys, Adrian M Owen. (2011) Bedside detection of awareness in the vegetative state: a cohort study. The Lancet. info:/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61224-5

  • November 13, 2011
  • 03:15 AM

...the rest is just details

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

(This cross-posted from my piece at Nature)Meet the electric brain. A pinnacle of modern science! This marvel comes complete with a "centrencephalic system", eyes, ears, medial and lateral geniculate, corpora quadrigemina, and visual cortex.(click to enlarge)The text reads:A giant electrified model of the human brain's control system is demonstrated by Dr. A.G. Macleod, at the meeting of the American Medical Association in New York, on June 26, 1961. The maze of twisting tubes and blinking light........ Read more »

Izhikevich EM, & Edelman GM. (2008) Large-scale model of mammalian thalamocortical systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(9), 3593-8. PMID: 18292226  

  • November 12, 2011
  • 08:14 PM

What power laws actually tell you about wealth and the 1%

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, there's an article published in yesterday's Guardian titled, "The mathematical law that shows why wealth flows to the 1%," which is fine, except for the fact that the "law" is not really a law, nor does it necessarily show "why" wealth flows anywhere.

To be fair, it's a perfectly reasonable article with a crap, misleading headline, so I blame the editor, not the author.

The point of the article is to introduce the idea of a power law distribution, or heavy-tailed distributions more general........ Read more »

Clauset, A., Shalizi, C., & Newman, M. (2009) Power-Law Distributions in Empirical Data. SIAM Review, 51(4), 661. DOI: 10.1137/070710111  

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