A Survey of Our Secret Lives

By Neuroskeptic | May 21, 2017 6:55 am

What kinds of secrets does the average person keep? In a new paper, Columbia University researchers Michael L. Slepian and colleagues carried out a survey of secrets.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, selfreport, Top Posts

Paper About Plagiarism Contains Plagiarism

By Neuroskeptic | May 17, 2017 2:08 pm

Regular readers will know that I have an interest in plagiarism. Today I discovered an amusing case of plagiarism in a paper about plagiarism.

The paper is called The confounding factors leading to plagiarism in academic writing and some suggested remedies. It recently appeared in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA) and it’s written by two Saudi Arabia-based authors, Salman Yousuf Guraya and Shaista Salman Guraya.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, papers

Sergio Canavero: Will His Head Transplants Roll?

By Neuroskeptic | May 13, 2017 2:07 pm

Will the first human head transplant happen soon? According to Sergio Canavero, it will – and he’ll be the man to do it.


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Vaccines, Autism, and Retraction

By Neuroskeptic | May 10, 2017 9:30 am

Arbitrary and unfair behavior by scientific journals risks damaging the public’s perception of science.

Two weeks ago, the Journal of Translational Science published a paper that reported a correlation between vaccination and autism in 666 children. On Monday, the paper disappeared from their website, with no explanation or retraction notice. Google’s cache still has the paper here. Retraction Watch has more details.


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Neuropeptides and Peer Review Failure

By Neuroskeptic | May 8, 2017 12:08 pm

A new paper in the prestigious journal PNAS contains a rather glaring blooper.

The paper, from Oxford University researchers Eiluned Pearce et al., is about the relationship between genes and social behaviour. The blooper is right there in the abstract, which states that “three neuropeptides (β-endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine) play particularly important roles” in human sociality. But dopamine is not a neuropeptide.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, Top Posts

Is “Allostasis” The Brain’s Essential Function?

By Neuroskeptic | May 5, 2017 1:53 pm

A paper just published in Nature Human Behaviour makes some big claims about the brain. It’s called Evidence for a large-scale brain system supporting allostasis and interoception in humans, but how much is evidence and how much is speculation?

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, papers, select, Top Posts

How Can We Measure Human Oxytocin Levels?

By Neuroskeptic | May 3, 2017 1:42 pm

Is oxytocin really the love and trust chemical? Or is it just the hype hormone? A new paper suggests that many studies of the relationship between oxytocin and behaviors such as trust have been flawed.


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New Human Rights for the Age of Neuroscience?

By Neuroskeptic | April 29, 2017 6:55 am

Do we have a human right to the privacy of our brain activity? Is “cognitive liberty” the foundation of all freedom?

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

The Fake “War Between Neuroscience and Psychiatry”

By Neuroskeptic | April 26, 2017 9:15 am

Neuroscientists have launched an assault on the American Psychiatric Association headquarters and are engaged in bitter, boardroom-to-boardroom fighting. Psychiatrists have captured the leader of a militant pro-brain faction. A ceasefire, brokered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is due to come into effect at midnight.

Yes, indeed. A blog post by Daniel Barron in Scientific American yesterday claimed that there is a War between Neuroscience and Psychiatry


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Functional Connectivity Between Surgically Disconnected Brain Regions?

By Neuroskeptic | April 21, 2017 2:26 pm

A new article posted on preprint site bioRxiv has generated a lot of interest among neuroscientists on Twitter. The article reports the existence of ‘functional connectivity‘ between surgically disconnected distant brain regions using fMRI, something that in theory shouldn’t be possible.

This is big news, if true, because it suggests that fMRI functional connectivity isn’t entirely a reflection of actual signalling between brain areas. Rather, something else must be able to produce connectivity – most likely it has to do with the constriction of blood vessels in the brain. Whatever the source of the non-neuronal connectivity is, it raises the worrying possibility that it might be contaminating fMRI studies.

The research comes from a University of Iowa team, with the first author being David E. Warren.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, methods, select, Top Posts


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