A Brief Guide to Neuro-Products

By Neuroskeptic | August 13, 2018 4:41 pm

On this blog I usually focus on academic, scientific neuroscience. However, there is a big world outside the laboratory and, in the real world, the concepts of neuroscience are being used (and abused) in ways that would make any honest neuroscientist blush.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, media, neurofetish, select, Top Posts

How Accessible is Psychology Data?

By Neuroskeptic | August 6, 2018 5:02 pm

In a slightly depressing new paper, two researchers describe how they tried to get access to the data behind 111 of the most cited psychology and psychiatry papers published in the past decade. The researchers, Tom E. Hardwicke and John P. A. Ioannidis of Stanford, wanted to place the data into a ‘Data Ark‘ to ensure its continued preservation for science. Unfortunately, in most cases, the data was not made available.

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The Kinkiest Scientific Study Ever? Neuro-BDSM

By Neuroskeptic | July 25, 2018 2:38 pm

In an eyebrow-raising new paper, neuroscientists report that they had participants wear a ball gag while watching images of people in pain. The lucky participants in this neuro-bondage were all female BDSM submissives, and their brain activity in response to the painful pictures was recorded with EEG.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: EEG, papers, select, Top Posts

“Cluster Failure”: fMRI False Positives Revisited

By Neuroskeptic | July 22, 2018 9:31 am

Two years ago, a paper by Swedish neuroscientist Anders Eklund and colleagues caused a media storm. The paper, Cluster Failure, reported that the most widely used methods for the analysis of fMRI data are flawed and produce a high rate of false positives.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, methods, papers, select, statistics, Top Posts

The Ethics of Research on Leaked Data: Ashley Madison

By Neuroskeptic | July 14, 2018 9:07 am

A paper just published reports that Republicans are more likely to have used the adultery website Ashley Madison than Democrats, while Libertarians were even more likely to do so.

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

Scientific Self-Correction on Small Talk and Happiness

By Neuroskeptic | July 8, 2018 12:11 pm

Does idle chat and unhappiness go together? Eight years ago, a study was published (Mehl et al. 2010) suggesting that they do. The authors reported that “Well-Being Is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations”, triggering many alarming headlines.

smalltalk

Now, however, the same researchers have carried out a much larger study and have failed to confirm the chat-unhappiness association. The new paper is published in Psychological Science, the same journal where the original appeared. What I like about this new article is that it’s a good example of researchers revisiting their own work and openly changing their minds.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: FixingScience, papers, select, Top Posts

What Is Preregistration For?

By Neuroskeptic | July 3, 2018 4:12 pm

fix_sci_small

A paper in Psychological Science was taking a beating on Twitter last month.

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The Handeloh Happening: Psychedelic Poisoning

By Neuroskeptic | July 2, 2018 3:07 pm

In 2015, in a small town in Germany called Handeloh, a group of 29 men and women were rushed to hospital after displaying strange and sometimes violent behaviours along with other symptoms including vomiting and seizures. The victims were all attendees at a seminar on spiritual healing called ‘Die sieben Quellen’ – “The Seven Springs”.

The patients all survived, although a number were seriously ill. The organizer of seminar, a psychotherapist, admitted to police that he had given the attendees 2C-E, a psychedelic drug. In 2017, he was given a suspended prison sentence for supplying the illicit substance.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: drugs, papers, select, Top Posts

Is Public Engagement A Duty for Scientists?

By Neuroskeptic | June 24, 2018 4:40 pm

Do scientists have a responsibility to make their work accessible to the public?

science_public_engagement

“Public Engagement”, broadly speaking, means scientists communicating about science to non-scientists. Blogs are a form of public engagement, as are (non-academic) books. Holding public talks or giving interviews would also count as such.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: media, science, select, Top Posts, Uncategorized

Psychology, Neuroscience: Lacking in Individuality?

By Neuroskeptic | June 23, 2018 8:44 am

In research on people, scientists are typically interested in the group data – the mean, median, and variance of a sample of people. But according to a provocative new paper out in PNAS, the statistics of a group can obscure the variability within individuals, over time.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: science, select, statistics, Top Posts
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