Independent Discussion Sections?

By Neuroskeptic | March 20, 2019 8:19 am

Scientific papers should have two Discussion sections – one written by the authors, and the other by an independent researcher.

According to a new paper from Michael S. Avidan, John P. A. Ioannidis and George A. Mashour, this “second discussant” system could help ensure more balanced and objective inference in science.

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Are Atheists Genetically Damaged?

By Neuroskeptic | March 16, 2019 2:31 pm

I just came across a paper with an interesting title: The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”.

The conclusions of this work are even more interesting. According to the authors, Edward Dutton et al., humans evolved to be religious and atheism is caused (in part) by mutational damage to our normal, religious DNA. Atheists, in other words, are genetic degenerates.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, genes, papers, religionism, select, Top Posts

The Curious Foreign Accent Syndrome

By Neuroskeptic | March 9, 2019 3:25 pm

“Foreign Accent Syndrome” (FAS) is a rare disorder in which patients start to speak with a foreign or regional tone. This striking condition is often associated with brain damage, such as stroke. Presumably, the lesion affects the neural pathways by which the brain controls the tongue and vocal cords, thus producing a strange sounding speech.

frenchbrain

Yet there may be more to FAS than meets the eye (or ear). According to a new paper in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, many or even most cases of FAS are ‘functional’, meaning that the cause of the symptoms lies in psychological processes rather than a brain lesion.

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The Cancer Personality Scandal (Part 1)

By Neuroskeptic | February 25, 2019 4:09 am

The Journal of Health Psychology has just published an extraordinary pair of papers that call for a new inquiry into a 30-year old case of probable scientific fraud.

According to Anthony J. Pelosi, author of the main paper, the case was “one of the worst scientific scandals of all time” and yet has never been formally investigated. The journal’s editor, David F. Marks, agrees and, in an editorial, also calls for the retraction or correction of up to 61 papers. Read More

Silent Neurons: The Dark Matter of the Brain?

By Neuroskeptic | February 6, 2019 3:38 pm

Now here’s a paper with an interesting title: The dark matter of the brain

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, Top Posts

How Emergent is the Brain?

By Neuroskeptic | February 2, 2019 6:39 am

A new paper offers a broad challenge to a certain kind of ‘grand theory’ about the brain. According to the authors, Federico E. Turkheimer and colleagues, it is problematic to build models of brain function that rely on ‘strong emergence’.

dreams

Two popular theories, the Free Energy Principle aka Bayesian Brain and the Integrated Information Theory model, are singled out as examples of strong emergence-based work.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, philosophy, science, select, Top Posts

A New Look at Neurogenesis in Humans

By Neuroskeptic | January 30, 2019 3:31 am

What, if anything, is the function of adult neurogenesis in humans? Does neurogenesis even exist in our adult brains, or does it shut down during childhood?

The debate over human neurogenesis has been one of the most prominent disputes in 21st century neuroscience. Just last year, two opposing papers appeared in leading journals, one claiming firm evidence of ongoing neurogenesis in the adult human dentate gyrus, while the other study came to the opposite conclusion. The fact that adult neurogenesis is reliably seen in rodents only adds to the confusion. If rats and mice have it, and we don’t, what does that mean?

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Bullied Into Bad Science?

By Neuroskeptic | January 20, 2019 3:22 pm

There’s been an interesting discussion on Twitter about senior scientists who pressure their students or postdocs into scientific misconduct or otherwise poor science:

Today, I was made aware of a site called Bullied Into Bad Science which aims to tackle this problem.

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A Scientific Song of Consciousness and Self

By Neuroskeptic | January 13, 2019 6:55 am

In what may be a world first, a peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Psychology, has published a song.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, music, papers, select, Top Posts

Do You Believe in Eye-Beams?

By Neuroskeptic | December 23, 2018 6:20 am

Do you believe that people’s eyes emit an invisible beam of force?

According to a rather fun paper in PNAS, you probably do, on some level, believe that. The paper is called Implicit model of other people’s visual attention as an invisible, force-carrying beam projecting from the eyes.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, papers, select, Top Posts
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