Vagus Nerve Stimulation Restores Consciousness?

By Neuroskeptic | September 28, 2017 2:58 pm

A report that nerve stimulation was able to partially restore consciousness in a patient in a vegetative state has attracted a great deal of attention this week.

vagus_vegetative

The paper, published in Current Biology from French researchers Martina Corazzol and colleagues, is certainly promising, but I didn’t find it entirely convincing.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: EEG, papers, placebo, select, Top Posts

The Heavy Metal Brain

By Neuroskeptic | September 25, 2017 1:17 pm

Get your earplugs ready because this post is metal. Last week, a group of neuroscientists published a paper reporting altered brain activity in heavy metal lovers.

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Can Neuroscience Inform Everyday Life? The “Translation Problem”

By Neuroskeptic | September 22, 2017 11:42 am

A new paper asks why neuroscience hasn’t had more “impact on our daily lives.”

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Scientific Papers Are Getting Less Readable

By Neuroskeptic | September 16, 2017 2:37 pm

“The readability of scientific texts is decreasing over time”, according to a new paper just out. Swedish researchers Pontus Plaven-Sigray and colleagues say that scientists today use longer and more complex words than those of the past, making their writing harder to read. But what does it mean?

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

Update on the Journal of Stem Cells

By Neuroskeptic | September 14, 2017 4:18 am

In April, I called attention to what I saw as serious ethical and scientific problems with a biomedical journal, the Journal of Stem Cells. Now, this publication has been removed from a leading journal index.

journal-of-stem-cells

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

Should Research Funding Be Distributed Equally Among Scientists?

By Neuroskeptic | September 12, 2017 8:52 am

Instead of making scientists compete for grants based on project proposals, research funding could simply be divided equally among all ‘qualified’ researchers, according to a new paper.

money_sci

Authors Krist Vaesen and Joel Katzav argue that such an ‘egalitarian’ distribution of funds would still leave each grant holder with enough money to support their work and pay for students and junior researchers. But I’m not sure I agree with their logic.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, science, select, Top Posts

The Myth of The 30 IQ Point “Communication Range”

By Neuroskeptic | August 31, 2017 3:34 am

Earlier this week I tweeted a link to a Quora post which, I felt, was rather silly. The post was a response to the question “Are people with very high IQs generally happy?” and it answered in the negative:

Let’s say high IQ is a blessing which comes with a terrible price. And each and every person with reading east from 135 has paid that price.

HIgh IQ persons usually have also extremely vivid and wide spectrum of emotions and emotional life, and when they are happy, they are in rapture, and when they are unhappy, it is sheer emotional hell. The IQ is a great enabler, and it unfortunately also enables to experience unhappiness in much deeper and profound way than anyone with mediocre IQ would.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: history, science, select, Top Posts, woo, you

The “Unbearable Emptiness” of Science on Twitter?

By Neuroskeptic | August 27, 2017 3:59 pm

altmetric_question

The discussion of scientific papers on Twitter is largely dominated by spam bots, paid content promoters, and “monomaniacs” obsessed with a single issue. That’s according to researchers Nicolas Robinson-Garcia and colleagues in a new paper called “The unbearable emptiness of tweeting—about journal articles.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: blogging, media, papers, select, Top Posts

Eteplirsen: A Curious Scientific Controversy

By Neuroskeptic | August 25, 2017 2:30 pm

In April 2016, an FDA committee voted not to recommend acceptance of eteplirsen, a drug designed to treat muscular dystrophy. In September, however, the FDA did approve the drug, following a heated internal debate.

eteplirsen

This wasn’t the end of the story, however. What followed was an unusual scientific controversy that played out in the peer-reviewed literature, discussed in a Retraction Watch post this week.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, Top Posts

“R-Factor” Unlikely To Fix Science

By Neuroskeptic | August 21, 2017 10:20 am

A new tool called the R-factor could help ensure that science is reproducible and valid, according to a preprint posted on biorxiv: Science with no fiction. The authors, led by Peter Grabitz, are so confident in their idea that they’ve created a company called Verum Analytics to promote it. But how useful is this new metric going to be?

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