If all you know is how to be a gang member, that’s what you’ll be, at least until you learn something else. If you become a marine, you’ll learn to control fear. If you go to law school, you’ll see the world as a competition. If you study engineering, you’ll start to see the world as a complicated machine that needs tweaking.
I’m fascinated by the way a person changes at a fundamental level as he or she merges with a particular field of knowledge. People who study economics come out the other side thinking a different way from people who study nursing. And learning becomes a fairly permanent part of a person even as the cells in the body come and go and the circumstances of life change.
Where I work on channeling the powers of
Not quite nestled in my shiny new fMRI lab, I’m busy developing an experiment and hammering down testing paradigms for a proposal that may well be rejected. But since it’s being sent to an audience that is laser focused on selling papers, after much down-time (read: older, slow publishing PhD students), the newer ones taken in are receiving more than a little pressure to hit the ground running. It’s now more than ever, I find myself looking for articles/posts that may answer questions that I may not be asked when my idea slips through the cracks of approval (just a hunch). So, I’m on the hunt for important lessons from other neuroimaging researchers…like this:
On Prefrontal, for instance, Neural Correlates of Interspecies Perspective Taking in the Post-Mortem Atlantic Salmon: An Argument For Proper Multiple Comparisons Correction, brings up 1 of a hundred things I need to know. Of this, Nskeptic writes:The “multiple comparisons problem” is simply the fact that if you do a lot of different statistical tests, some of them will, just by chance, give interesting results.
In fMRI, the problem is particularly severe. An MRI scan divides the brain up into cubic units called voxels. There are over 40,000 in a typical scan. Most fMRI analysis treats every voxel independently, and tests to see if each voxel is “activated” by a certain stimulus or task. So that’s at least 40,000 separate comparisons going on - potentially many more, depending upon the details of the experiment. via
Why will I remember this? Because in their experiment they flopped a dead fish in the fMRI and found activity in its brain:
… “the salmon was shown a series of photographs depicting human individuals in social situations. The salmon was asked to determine what emotion the individual in the photo must have been experiencing.” via
If this can happen with a dead fish, I imagine what is being interpreted when we use complex/live human participants. Simply discussing corrected and uncorrected results seem to solve this to a satisfactory degree and it’s something I should keep in mind in a lab eager to produce.
In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.
About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.
At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.
This experiment raised several questions:
*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made ….
How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?
Enjoy life NOW… it has an expiration date
Tall folks earn $789 more per inch per year, a figure that’s stayed steady for the past five decades in both the U.S. and U.K. And I found that much of it is behavioral. Tall people consistently display a few behaviors that are directly correlated to success, which can be mimicked by anyone. For example, sociologists find that coworkers tend to give tall people four feet of personal space, about the same amount they give to their bosses. And tall people are also more likely to be the “leader” in any group, whether choosing a lunch spot or a corporate takeover target, a habit that develops young, when other children naturally relate to tall kids as older peers.
- “There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.”
- Francis H.C. Crick (from Scientific American, September, 1979)
if i do say so myself