A new study claims that Functional Connectivity in MRI Is Driven by Spontaneous BOLD Events
The researchers, Thomas Allan and colleagues from the University of Nottingham (one of the birthplaces of MRI), say that their results challenge the assumption that correlations in neural activity between ‘networks’ of brain regions reflect slow, steady low frequency oscillations within those networks. Instead, they report that the network connectivity is the result of occasional ‘spikes’ of coordinated activation that last only a short time.
Open access scientific publishing giant PLoS is under fire after an anonymous peer reviewer commissioned by one of their journals advised the (female) authors to “find one or two male biologists” to help improve their manuscript.
The two women are Fiona Ingleby and Megan Head – who, as it happens, I recently interviewed for the PLoS Neuro blog on an unrelated topic. (I should note that PLoS paid me for that review and for the three others I’ve written for them. I have also peer reviewed for PLoS ONE.)
Retraction Watch has more on the case. There’s been a lot said about this on Twitter and elsewhere, and some people have raised the point that if the reviewer were not anonymous, they might have felt more accountable, and would not have written these things.
But to me this misses the point. Anonymous peer review doesn’t mean that no-one is accountable: the editors should be.
This week has seen a flurry of alarming headlines suggesting that thinking can make brain cancer grow quicker. For example:
After the fall of Nazi Germany, the victorious Allies sought to bring the leaders of the Third Reich to justice in the form of the well-known Nuremberg Trials. Less famous are the attempts by psychologists to understand the Nazi mind in the form of psychological evaluations of the Nuremberg defendants.
In a provocative review paper just published, French neuroscientists Jean-Michel Hupé and Michel Dojat question the assumption that synesthesia is a neurological disorder.
A new paper in Neuroimage suggests that methods for removing head motion and physiological noise from fMRI data might be inadvertently excluding real signal as well.
According to a large study just published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, there’s no correlation between brain anatomy and self-reported autistic traits.
A new study published in the journal Neurocase made headlines this week. Headlines like: “Sarcasm Center Found In Brain’s White Matter“. The paper reports that damage to a particular white matter pathway in the brain, the right sagittal stratum, is associated with difficulty in perceiving a sarcastic tone of voice.