Is Neuroscience Underpowered? “Power Failure” Revisited

By Neuroskeptic | July 19, 2017 2:03 pm

Back in 2013, a Nature Reviews Neuroscience paper appeared called Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. This paper got a lot of attention at the time and has since been cited a dizzying 1760 times according to Google.


‘Power Failure’ made waves for its stark message that most neuroscience studies are too small, leaving neuroscience lacking statistical power, the chance of detecting signal in the noise. As the authors Kate Button et al. wrote

The average statistical power of studies in the neurosciences is very low. The consequences of this include overestimates of effect size and low reproducibility of results.

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The “Eleven Dimensional” Brain? Topology of Neural Networks

By Neuroskeptic | July 17, 2017 3:21 pm

Last month, a neuroscience paper appeared that triggered a maelstrom of media hype:

The Human Brain Can Create Structures in Up to 11 Dimensions

The human brain sees the world as an 11-dimensional multiverse

Scientists find mysterious shapes and structures in the brain with up to ELEVEN dimensions

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Researchers Apologize For Writing “Derpy” In A Paper

By Neuroskeptic | July 15, 2017 9:43 am

It appears that memes and science don’t mix well. A pair of researchers have published an apology in a peer-reviewed journal – for using the word “derpy” in an earlier paper.

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“Brain Training” Doesn’t Work?

By Neuroskeptic | July 13, 2017 2:43 pm

Lumosity “brain training” games have no beneficial effects on cognition, according to a paper just published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, papers, select, Top Posts

Political Neuroscience: “Growth Mindsets” and Disability

By Neuroskeptic | July 10, 2017 3:06 pm

On Twitter, I learned that the British government is citing neuroscience studies as part of a new welfare initiative.

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The “Electrosensitive” Brain

By Neuroskeptic | July 7, 2017 4:03 am

A strange new paper reports “abnormal” brain activity in 10 patients with electrohypersensitivity (EHS) – a controversial condition allegedly triggered by electromagnetic fields from devices such as phones and power-lines.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, papers, select, Top Posts, woo

Fetal Onanism: A Surprising Scientific Debate

By Neuroskeptic | July 3, 2017 4:16 pm

The medical journal Prenatal Diagnosis recently played host to a vigorous debate over whether a male fetus was spotted engaging in masturbation on ultrasound.


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, papers, select, Top Posts

Did Boys Use To Wear Pink? Revisited

By Neuroskeptic | July 2, 2017 5:37 am

Five years ago I blogged about the debate over whether the blue-for-boys, pink-for-girls color convention used to be the other way around. My post focused on a 2012 paper by psychologist Marco Del Giudice arguing that the idea of a cultural “pink–blue reversal” in the English-speaking world in the early 20th century is a myth.

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Do Criminals Read Psychology Papers?

By Neuroskeptic | June 29, 2017 4:50 pm

Psychologists and social scientists tend to see their research as a force for good. But can we assume this? Couldn’t knowledge of human behaviour be exploited for malicious ends?


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: ethics, science, select, Top Posts

What Are “Hard” and “Soft” Drugs?

By Neuroskeptic | June 27, 2017 2:35 pm

A new study examines the blurry distinction between “hard” and “soft” drugs.

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


No brain. No gain.

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