Amping up control? Bad research practices and poor reliability raise concerns about brain stimulation

There is a lot of buzz around brain stimulation, but new problems start to surface. Neurocopiae reviews news on bad practices and poor reliability.

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It hasn’t been a very good week for proponents of the popular brain stimulation method called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS is a non-invasive technique that uses electrodes to deliver weak current to a person’s forehead. Numerous papers have claimed that tDCS can enhance mood, alleviate pain, or improve cognitive function. Such reports have sparked interest in tDCS at a broader scale. When you enter tDCS in the youtube search, you will find DIY tutorials on how to assemble a device so that you can amp up your brain at home. Including enthusiastic reports of the resulting changes in brain function. To put it in Richard Dawkins’ words: Science? It works, bitches. In particular, it works when you know what the outcome should be. Continue reading “Amping up control? Bad research practices and poor reliability raise concerns about brain stimulation”

Tell me lies: the truth about the deceptive ACC (dACC)

What separates the truth from a lie? Neurocopiae talks about a recently published preprint on the response costs of lying. And we have blobs!

A couple of weeks ago, I published my first preprint on bioRxiv. Although there are many good reasons to publish preprints, we can put it simple and plain. They are an awesome opportunity to put your work out in the spotlight immediately. No paywall, no editorial evaluation of potential impact, no Reviewer #2. The only drawback is that they are not peer reviewed yet, so you basically have to read the paper as if you were reviewing it for a journal. Luckily, in times of rising numbers of paper submissions, this quickly becomes a habit anyway. Besides posting our drafts as preprints, what is the best thing that we can do to support the cause? Talk about preprints, of course. Continue reading “Tell me lies: the truth about the deceptive ACC (dACC)”