Spontaneous Events Drive Brain Functional Connectivity?

By Neuroskeptic | May 2, 2015 1:01 pm

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.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, head motion, papers, select, Top Posts

Sexist Peer Review and The Role of Editors

By Neuroskeptic | April 30, 2015 4:46 pm


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.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: politics, science, select, Top Posts

No Reason To Think That Thinking “Fuels Brain Cancer”

By Neuroskeptic | April 27, 2015 3:02 pm

This week has seen a flurry of alarming headlines suggesting that thinking can make brain cancer grow quicker. For example:

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: media, papers, select, Top Posts

Rorschach Tests at the Nuremberg Trials

By Neuroskeptic | April 25, 2015 4:43 am

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.

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Is Synesthesia A Brain Disorder?

By Neuroskeptic | April 21, 2015 5:08 pm

In a provocative review paper just published, French neuroscientists Jean-Michel Hupé and Michel Dojat question the assumption that synesthesia is a neurological disorder.

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Where Are The Big Ideas in Neuroscience? (Part 1)

By Neuroskeptic | April 19, 2015 11:03 am

Why are there no big ideas in neuroscience?


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Is There Signal in the fMRI Noise?

By Neuroskeptic | April 18, 2015 7:00 am

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.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, head motion, methods, papers, select, Top Posts

Autistic Traits Aren’t Linked To Brain Anatomy?

By Neuroskeptic | April 15, 2015 3:58 pm

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.


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Brain Sarcasm Centre “Totally Found”

By Neuroskeptic | April 11, 2015 10:31 am

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.

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

The Ideal Brain Scanner

By Neuroskeptic | April 6, 2015 6:13 am

When philosophers are thinking about issues such as free will and the mind-body problem, the notion of a futuristic “ideal brain scanner” often shows up.

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