abbreviating personality measures in R: a tutorial

A while back I blogged about a paper I wrote that uses genetic algorithms to abbreviate personality measures with minimal human intervention. In the paper, I promised to put the R code I used online, so that other people could download and use it. I put off doing that for a long time, because the … Continue reading abbreviating personality measures in R: a tutorial

elsewhere on the net

I’ve been swamped with work lately, so blogging has taken a backseat. I keep a text file on my desktop of interesting things I’d like to blog about; normally, about three-quarters of the links I paste into it go unblogged, but in the last couple of weeks it’s more like 98%. So here are some … Continue reading elsewhere on the net

the male brain hurts, or how not to write about science

My wife asked me to blog about this article on CNN because, she said, “it’s really terrible, and it shouldn’t be on CNN”. I usually do what my wife tells me to do, so I’m blogging about it. It’s by Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of the absolutely awful controversial book The Female Brain, and now, … Continue reading the male brain hurts, or how not to write about science

green chile muffins and brains in a truck: weekend in albuquerque

I spent the better part of last week in Albuquerque for the Mind Research Network fMRI course. It’s a really well-organized 3-day course, and while it’s geared toward people without much background in fMRI, I found a lot of the lectures really helpful. It’s hard impossible to get everything right when you run an fMRI … Continue reading green chile muffins and brains in a truck: weekend in albuquerque

scientists aren’t dumb; statistics is hard

There’s a feature article in the new issue of Science News on the failure of science “to face the shortcomings of statistics”. The author, Tom Siegfried, argues that many scientific results shouldn’t be believed because they depend on faulty statistical practices: Even when performed correctly, statistical tests are widely misunderstood and frequently misinterpreted. As a … Continue reading scientists aren’t dumb; statistics is hard

fMRI becomes big, big science

There are probably lots of criteria you could use to determine the relative importance of different scientific disciplines, but the one I like best is the Largest Number of Authors on a Paper. Physicists have long had their hundred-authored papers (see for example this individual here; be sure to click on the “show all authors/affiliations” … Continue reading fMRI becomes big, big science

what the general factor of intelligence is and isn’t, or why intuitive unitarianism is a lousy guide to the neurobiology of higher cognitive ability

This post shamelessly plagiarizes liberally borrows ideas from a much longer, more detailed, and just generally better post by Cosma Shalizi. I’m not apologetic, since I’m a firm believer in the notion that good ideas should be repeated often and loudly. So I’m going to be often and loud here, though I’ll try to be … Continue reading what the general factor of intelligence is and isn’t, or why intuitive unitarianism is a lousy guide to the neurobiology of higher cognitive ability

functional MRI and the many varieties of reliability

Craig Bennett and Mike Miller have a new paper on the reliability of fMRI. It’s a nice review that I think most people who work with fMRI will want to read. Bennett and Miller discuss a number of issues related to reliability, including why we should care about the reliability of fMRI, what factors influence … Continue reading functional MRI and the many varieties of reliability

Kahneman on happiness

The latest TED talk is an instant favorite of mine. Daniel Kahneman talks about the striking differences in the way we experience versus remember events: It’s an entertaining and profoundly insightful 20-minute talk, and worth watching even if you think you’ve heard these ideas before. The fundamental problem Kahneman discusses is that we all experience … Continue reading Kahneman on happiness