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  • June 27, 2012
  • 07:20 AM

Herkent u deze melodie? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Je zit in je auto en draait wat aan de knop van de radio. Je hoort al snel of bepaalde muziek je bevalt of niet. Je herkent een stem, een liedje of zelfs de uitvoering ervan. Iedereen doet het, iedereen kan het. En vaak ook nog eens razendsnel: sneller dan een noot gemiddeld klinkt.Als u gevraagd zou worden om naar een reeks muziekfragmenten van 0,2 seconde te luisteren, zal blijken dat u met gemak aan kan geven welk fragment klassiek, jazz, R&B of pop is (zie luistertest). Een snippertje ge........ Read more »

Gjerdingen, Robert O., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

  • June 25, 2012
  • 09:11 AM

Why does a well-tuned modern piano not sound out-of tune?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Karlheinz Stockhausen is listening."Neue Musik ist anstrengend", wrote Die Zeit some time ago: "Der seit Pythagoras’ Zeiten unternommene Versuch, angenehme musikalische Klänge auf ganzzahlige Frequenzverhältnisse der Töne zurückzuführen, ist schon mathematisch zum Scheitern verurteilt. Außereuropäische Kulturen beweisen schließlich, dass unsere westliche Tonskala genauso wenig naturgegeben ist wie eine auf Dur und Moll beruhende Harmonik: Die indonesische Gamelan-Musik und Indiens Raga........ Read more »

Julia Kursell. (2011) Kräftespiel. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 2(1), 24-40. DOI: 10.4472_zfmw.2010.0003  

  • June 24, 2012
  • 07:57 PM

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor – Part Two

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Despite its many faults (see part I), the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is considered an influential index to a journal’s quality, and publishing in high-impact journals is essential to a researcher’s academic career. Reminder: to calculate, for example, the 2010 JIF for a journal - JIF= (2010 citations to 2009+2008 articles)/(no. of “citable” articles published in [...]

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  • June 24, 2012
  • 06:01 PM

In defense of pink microscopes

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

I know I am late to the party here, as the "Science is a girl thing" video (embedded below) came out Friday and has already been ripped to shreds by many a blog. But I just couldn't stop thinking about it, so here's my opinion on that video and pinkifying science in general.Hello Kitty Microscope I am reminded of a quote from Pres. Obama's initial campaign.  He said (something like) "We need to shatter the blasphemy that says a black child with a book is acting white."  It is equally t........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2012
  • 05:00 PM

New Research: Do organic animal operations encourage management decisions that negatively impact animal welfare?

by Austin Bouck in Animal Science Review

Few agricultural debates come close to generating the same passionate and heated responses that organic farming seems to elicit. The discussion surpasses the interests of producers with conflicting ideologies to be hotly debated by assertive consumers as well; people who highlight the paradox created by their interest in the safe and responsible production of their food, while avoiding all involvement in its creation. The originally proposed Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 received nearly 3........ Read more »

Vonne Lund, & Bo Algers. (2003) Research on animal health and welfare in organic farming—a literature review. Livestock Production Science, 80(1-2), 55-68. info:/10.1016/S0301-6226(02)00321-4

  • June 20, 2012
  • 07:58 AM

Was Pythagoras wrong?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The definition of music as “sound” wrongly suggests that music, like all natural phenomena, adheres to the laws of nature. In this case, the laws would be the acoustical patterns of sound such as the (harmonic) relationships in the structure of the dominant tones, which determine the timbre. This is an idea that has preoccupied primarily the mathematically oriented music scientists, from Pythagoras to Hermann von Helmholtz. But, for all their wisdom, Pythagoras, Galilei, and like-min........ Read more »

Julia Kursell. (2011) Kräftespiel. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 2(1), 24-40. DOI: 10.4472_zfmw.2010.0003  

  • June 10, 2012
  • 09:07 AM

Does #exergame experience impact movement quantity and quality? (study)

by Stephen Yang in ExerGame Lab

I often wonder if previous experience in playing an #exergame impacts the overall experience and success of game play. Levac et al. also wanted to know whether motivation to succeed at the game...

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  • June 9, 2012
  • 04:44 AM

Teaching Neuroanatomy With A Showercap

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Learning the names and locations of the different parts of the brain is a task that has brought grief to generations of students.I myself didn't know my caudate from my cingulate cortex all through my undergraduate studies and the first year of my doctorate. I only cracked it after spending a couple of days in the library, surrounded by a stack of anatomy textbooks, copying diagrams and coloring them in over and over until I could do it from memory.Now a group of Australian physiologists say the........ Read more »

Vanags T, Budimlic M, Herbert E, Montgomery MM, & Vickers T. (2012) Showercap Mindmap: a spatial activity for learning physiology terminology and location. Advances in physiology education, 36(2), 125-30. PMID: 22665427  

  • June 6, 2012
  • 10:03 AM

Wordt popmuziek steeds treuriger? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Socioloog Christian von Scheve (Freie Universität Berlin) en muziek-psycholoog Glenn Schellenberg (University of Toronto) analyseerden zo’n duizend liedjes die tussen 1965 en 2009 in de Amerikaanse hitlijsten stonden. Daarbij vergeleken ze onder meer toonsoorten en tempo’s.De onderzoekers concludeerden dat er nu meer liedjes in de hitlijsten verschijnen die in mineur worden geschreven dan in de jaren zestig. Van mineurnummers is bekend dat ze een gevoel van verdriet opwekken. Derhalve stell........ Read more »

Schellenberg, E., & von Scheve, C. (2012) Emotional Cues in American Popular Music: Five Decades of the Top 40. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. DOI: 10.1037/a0028024  

  • June 6, 2012
  • 07:12 AM

How can I stop…… stammering?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

London 1940 was a grey place. In June, smog and grey skies made way for sunshine. Not that there was any summer cheer. Homes were in a perpetual gloom because of blacked-out windows. Food was scarce and kitchen broth was the family staple meal. And then the Germans were approaching. Against this backdrop, the new … Continue reading »... Read more »

Büchel, C., & Sommer, M. (2004) What Causes Stuttering?. PLoS Biology, 2(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020046  

Carl Herder, Courtney Howard, Chad Nye, & Martine Vanryckeghem. (2006) Effectiveness of Behavioral Stuttering Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN COMMUNICATION SCIENCE AND DISORDERS, 33(`), 61-73. info:/

Prins, D., & Ingham, R. (2008) Evidence-Based Treatment and Stuttering--Historical Perspective. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52(1), 254-263. DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0111)  

  • June 5, 2012
  • 08:49 PM

Improving your Relationship with Mindfulness

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Mindfulness: Learn how being open to new experiences and alternative perspectives can improve your relationship. ... Read more »

Burpee, L., & Langer, E. (2005) Mindfulness and Marital Satisfaction. Journal of Adult Development, 12(1), 43-51. DOI: 10.1007/s10804-005-1281-6  

  • June 4, 2012
  • 06:01 PM

Journal of Neuroscience Methods paper: "Automated Cognome Construction and Semi-automated Hypothesis Generation"

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

The scientific method begins with a hypothesis about our reality that can be tested via experimental observation. Hypothesis formation is iterative, building off prior scientific knowledge. Before one can form a hypothesis, one must have a thorough understanding of previous research to ensure that the path of inquiry is founded upon a stable base of established facts. But how can a researcher perform a thorough, unbiased literature review when over one million scientific articles are published a........ Read more »

Schmidt M, & Lipson H. (2009) Distilling free-form natural laws from experimental data. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5923), 81-5. PMID: 19342586  

Bowden, D., & Dubach, M. (2003) NeuroNames 2002. Neuroinformatics, 1(1), 43-60. DOI: 10.1385/NI:1:1:043  

Yarkoni T, Poldrack RA, Nichols TE, Van Essen DC, & Wager TD. (2011) Large-scale automated synthesis of human functional neuroimaging data. Nature methods, 8(8), 665-70. PMID: 21706013  

Lein, E., Hawrylycz, M., Ao, N., Ayres, M., Bensinger, A., Bernard, A., Boe, A., Boguski, M., Brockway, K., Byrnes, E.... (2006) Genome-wide atlas of gene expression in the adult mouse brain. Nature, 445(7124), 168-176. DOI: 10.1038/nature05453  

  • June 4, 2012
  • 10:00 AM

Should Bloggers Publicize Their Own Work?

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Science blog royalty SciCurious recently had a post up about whether it was okay for science bloggers to blog about their own work. Travis brought it up on his Science of Blogging site as well, and I started thinking about it. One of the big issues we struggle with as researchers is getting our research out [...]... Read more »

  • June 1, 2012
  • 12:13 PM

Science/Scientists Under Attack…

by gunnardw in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Earlier this month, a group of so-called eco-anarchists (keep in mind though that eco-anarchism is a fairly wide designation, comprising diverse lines of thought) has sent a letter to an Italian newspaper in which they claim responsibility for shooting Roberto … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 1, 2012
  • 09:07 AM

We need substitutes, not extras

by David Robertson in David Robertson

I check my phone. “Already inside, some good ales on.” I quickly flick my wallet open to see a £20 note, then open the door to my local pub. A wave of warm air, infused with familiar and somewhat questionable odours, washes over me. An evening of chatter and drinking with friends awaits. Unexpectedly, the [...]... Read more »

  • June 1, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

An Open Letter to the Royal Society: Please employ a wikipedian in residence

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Fellows of the Wiki Society? To improve public engagement with Science and Scientists, the Royal Society should employ a wikipedian in residence. Here’s why:... Read more »

Daub, J., Gardner, P., Tate, J., Ramskold, D., Manske, M., Scott, W., Weinberg, Z., Griffiths-Jones, S., & Bateman, A. (2008) The RNA WikiProject: Community annotation of RNA families. RNA, 14(12), 2462-2464. DOI: 10.1261/rna.1200508  

Wodak, S., Mietchen, D., Collings, A., Russell, R., & Bourne, P. (2012) Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia. PLoS Computational Biology, 8(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446  

  • May 31, 2012
  • 12:05 PM

Alcoholic extracts of Aloe vera for diabetic rats

by SS in Scientific scrutiny

This 2008 paper describes the antidiabetic activity of an Aloe vera gel extract with histological data to show the changes in STZ-induced diabetic rats.  This critique of the paper highlights the use of important data like extract doses (2004 J.Med. Food paper by Rajasekaran et al.), expected results, key hypotheses from earlier papers and the omission of important details such as the preparation of the different extracts of which the test extract was chosen as the best one.  I couldn'........ Read more »

  • May 29, 2012
  • 11:32 PM

What is Science Literacy?

by Steve Easterbrook in Serendipity

A few people today have pointed me at the new paper by Dan Kahan & colleagues (1), which explores competing explanations for why lots of people don’t regard climate change as a serious problem. I’ve blogged about Dan’s work before – the studies they do are very well designed, and address important questions. If you’re [...]... Read more »

Kahan, D., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012) The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1547  

Maienschein, J. (1998) Scientific Literacy. Science, 281(5379), 917-917. DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5379.917  

William F. McComas. (1998) The Principle Elements of the Nature of Science: Dispelling the Myths. The Nature of Science in Science Education. info:/

  • May 27, 2012
  • 11:00 AM

New Gaydar Study: Bogus Science?

by Ryo in Skeptikai

When the results of a new study on people's "gaydar" made the news rounds, it caught a bit of attention. But can we really judge someone's sexual orientation just by looking at them?... Read more »

  • May 25, 2012
  • 03:14 PM

Once upon a time there was a star

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

Once upon a time there was a star. It was big, hot, luminous, and very proud of itself. It was the First Star. It had already devoured all the gas around, so no other stars could be born nearby. No neighbor stars were visible in vicinity either. It was lonely. The First Star spent its life in grief burning H and He and died shortly in pair-instability supernova. Or maybe it died quietly in a black hole. Or maybe I should tell another story. . .

Why do we think that Population III stars exist?........ Read more », & Bromm V. and Larson R. (2009) The First Stars in the Universe . Scientific American. info:/

Stacy, A., Greif, T., & Bromm, V. (2010) The first stars: formation of binaries and small multiple systems. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 403(1), 45-60. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16113.x  

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