MEG empty room recording and audio stimuli

Things I’ve learned today: make an empty room recording before piloting on people. Check if my experimental effects come out in the absence of a brain in the helmet. Then pilot. I usually use brief, pure tones in my experiments, and I usually do MEG. There is a stimulus computer outside the MEG room, that … [Read more…]

Too good to be true

This is going to be one of those annoying posts where I tell you to first go and read something else before coming back. Sometimes, when research results are too good to be true, people start thinking there might be something fishy going on. Jens Foerster, for instance, was called out on the excessive linearity of his … [Read more…]

Weapons of math destruction

The rules of science are changing, to the exhilaration of some and apprehension of others. The problem is by now well defined: when we run an analysis on an unstable effect using a small sample, we can get a variety of different statistical outcomes. If only some of those outcomes are acceptable by journal standards, the literature will produce a skewed … [Read more…]

Scatterplotting time series

These thoughts about plotting were largely inspired by Guillaume Rousselet’s blog. Let’s start with this combined scatter ERP/ERF plot: These are real data from an early paper of mine, picked for convenience. The blue and red lines are the signal recorded by a set of temporal MEG sensors, to a tone click played twice (under two different conditions, called Blue … [Read more…]

A crisis of (p) values

I remember a sense of defeat when I started learning about research methodology. I enrolled in psychology brimming with questions, but instead of getting answers, there was this statistics course that seemed to be just caveat after caveat after caveat about what we’re allowed to conclude from data. You should have a representative sample, but … [Read more…]

The search for intelligence in the brain

Being intelligent is about being good at many things. Intelligence researchers assign a single number to a diverse constellation of aptitudes, and this single number is the best across-the-board predictor of performance that differential psychology has ever yielded. Intuitively, there should be an ability behind this constellation: the more of this ability people have, the … [Read more…]