What Does Any Part of the Brain Do?

By Neuroskeptic | March 9, 2018 2:43 pm

How can we know the function of a region of the brain? Have we been approaching the problem in the wrong way? An interesting new paper from German neuroscientists Sarah Genon and colleagues explores these questions.


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, methods, select, Top Posts

Scientific Salami Slicing: 33 Papers from 1 Study

By Neuroskeptic | March 3, 2018 5:49 am

Salami slicing” refers to the practice of breaking scientific studies down into small chunks and publishing each part as a seperate paper.

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

About that New Antidepressant Study

By Neuroskeptic | February 24, 2018 7:52 am

A new Lancet paper about antidepressants caused quite a stir this week. Headlines proclaimed that “It’s official – antidepressants work“, “Study proves anti-depressants are effective“, and “Antidepressants work. Period.”

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Human Chains: “Prayer Camp” Psychiatry Study Raises Ethical Questions

By Neuroskeptic | February 21, 2018 3:12 pm

A new medical paper raises complex questions over ethics and human rights, as it reports on a study that took place in a religious camp where mentally ill patients were chained up for long periods.

The paper’s called Joining psychiatric care and faith healing in a prayer camp in Ghana and it’s out now in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The authors are a Ghanian-British-American team led by Dr Angela Ofori-Atta.

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Disability Bias in Peer Review?

By Neuroskeptic | February 18, 2018 9:05 am

Writing in the journal Medical Care, researcher Lisa I. Iezzoni says that a peer reviewer on a paper she previously submitted to that journal displayed “explicitly disparaging language and erroneous derogatory assumptions” about disabled people.


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The Neural Basis of Watching “Memento”

By Neuroskeptic | February 13, 2018 8:25 am

Memento (2000) is a complex psychological thriller about a man unable to form long-term memories. The movie is popular among neuroscientists for its accurate depiction of amnesia. Now, in a wonderfully “meta” paper, a group of neuroscientists report that they scanned the brains of people watching Memento in order to study memory processes.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, movies, select, Top Posts

Hostile Questions at Scientific Meetings

By Neuroskeptic | February 9, 2018 8:45 am

A brief letter in Nature got me thinking this week: Don’t belittle junior researchers in meetings

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: ethics, science, select, Top Posts

What Is “Social Priming”?

By Neuroskeptic | January 26, 2018 12:01 pm

“Social priming” has recently been one of the most controversial topics in psychological science. With failures to replicate proliferating, the field has been called a train-wreck. But what exactly is it?


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

Does Psychology Need SWaG? The Ethics of Naturalistic Experiments

By Neuroskeptic | January 21, 2018 10:59 am

Diederik Stapel. Brian Wansink. Nicolas Guéguen. Anyone who’s been following recent debates over research integrity in psychology will recognize these as three prolific and successful academic psychologists who have suffered a total (Stapel) or ongoing (Wansink, Guéguen) fall from grace in the past few years.

If you’re not familiar with these cases, you can start by reading over Nick Brown’s blog. Brown has been at the centre of the investigations into irregularities in Wansink and Guéguen, and he also translated Stapel’s book into English.

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

Waneta Hoyt: The Serial Killer Paper

By Neuroskeptic | January 16, 2018 12:16 pm

I just learned about a truly remarkable case in which a doctor apparently wrote a paper about a serial killer who murdered her five children – without realizing what had happened. It’s an old case, but it doesn’t seem to be widely known today.

The paper is called Prolonged apnea and the sudden infant death syndrome: clinical and laboratory observations and it was written in 1972 by Dr Alfred Steinschneider of Syracuse, New York. In this paper, Steinschneider described the case of a woman, “Mrs H”, who had already lost three children, ostensibly to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

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