When the margin of error is decisive: Trump’s victory as a lesson for neuroscience, part 2

Many things may go wrong, but we can count on the standard error to be on the safe side, can’t we? Neurocopiae digs into the data to unearth common sources of error that are not “standard” errors.

One more week has passed since I posted the first part of my take on the presidential upset in the US elections. First of all, I want to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see that it received good attention and was picked by the editors of scienceseeker.org (thanks!). Once you wake up on the wrong side of the error bar, you start to wonder if there is any chance to do better next time. What worked in Trump’s favor, has also led to erroneous estimations of brain activation clusters in fMRI research. Correlated errors are omnipresent in data, but hardly present in statistical models regardless of the domain and I covered this aspect in Part 1. In the second part of my post, I will deal with two more statistical issues that surfaced after the election, but are not echoed in common practice data handling in neuroscience: 1) misconceptions about what the margin of error truly reflects and 2) the gap between a sample (what you got) and the underlying population (what you want to get at). Continue reading “When the margin of error is decisive: Trump’s victory as a lesson for neuroscience, part 2”

When the margin of error is decisive: Trump’s victory as a lesson for neuroscience, part 1

The world is not the same after Trump’s election and this blog is no different. Neurcopiae explores how we can learn from the failure of prediction models.

If casting predictions is your bread and butter, you know how hard it is to be spot on. Luckily, in most cases it does not matter when we happen to be a bit off target because the implications are modest at best. This is why every prediction comes with a margin of error or a confidence interval. Still, when Trump defied the odds of poll predictions on election night and edged out the victory, I felt deeply troubled. Stats let me down on this important occasion and it was tough to take. Continue reading “When the margin of error is decisive: Trump’s victory as a lesson for neuroscience, part 1”

A neurotopian hope for the future

Is your brain in search of a brighter future? Wait no longer and read what you can do to lighten up your brain.

Your brain has not been brought to its full potential yet. This is a scientific fact and I won’t bother you with the details that my statement is based on. Your brain has better things to do and you have been wasting time already for too long. Let me just ask you a simple question. Are you still drinking regular water? Maybe even tap water? No wonder you feel tired, stressed, and exhausted. Treat your brain to neuro water instead! Continue reading “A neurotopian hope for the future”

Super predators moving at the speed of peer review

There are many good reasons to start a science blog and neurocopiae has collected a few. Science is what you make of it.

Since this blog is going to be all about the scientific search for the truth, I have to come clean first: I have been pressured lately to share my thoughts with you. Many interesting new journals and conferences have reached out to me “because of my eminence in the field” in the past weeks. I have been flattered by the many read requests to emails that permuted my name in order to grab my attention somehow. To be honest, I was quite surprised to reap the benefits of my scientific outreach. Who would have thought that I could join Atomic Physics 2016 as an honorable guest, Neurosurgery 2017 as a speaker, or the International Journal of Medical & Clinical Imaging as an editor? Continue reading “Super predators moving at the speed of peer review”