- Flashing lights might cure Alzheimer’s, according to Nature.
- There is no paradox: being obese is definitively bad for you.
- Class attendance predicts success in college.
- Barbara Streisan had her dog cloned, more than once.
- Contrary to what we have been told: stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation.
- Fasting can help prevent and treat cancer. Sadly, my wife would not let me fast if I wanted to (I’m quite thin as it is).
- If you cannot fast, maybe you can take aspirin: Aspirin mimics some of the effects of caloric restriction.
- Mitochondria, the power plants of your cells, run at a temperature of 50°C.
- Apparently, nobody knows how airplanes fly. (Credit: Leonid Boytsov)
- Another well-established psychology result bites the dust:
Dijksterhuis and van Knippenberg (1998) reported that participants primed with a category associated with intelligence (“professor”) subsequently performed 13% better on a trivia test than participants primed with a category associated with a lack of intelligence (“soccer hooligans”). (…) The procedure used in those replications served as the basis for this multilab Registered Replication Report. A total of 40 laboratories collected data for this project, and 23 of these laboratories met all inclusion criteria. Here we report the meta-analytic results for those 23 direct replications (total N = 4,493), which tested whether performance on a 30-item general-knowledge trivia task differed between these two priming conditions (results of supplementary analyses of the data from all 40 labs, N = 6,454, are also reported). We observed no overall difference in trivia performance between participants primed with the “professor” category and those primed with the “hooligan” category (0.14%) and no moderation by gender.
Psychology as a field is in big trouble.
- An old reference that should serve as a good reminder not to trust what you read:
Functional MRI (fMRI) is 25 years old, yet surprisingly its most common statistical methods have not been validated using real data. Here, we used resting-state fMRI data from 499 healthy controls to conduct 3 million task group analyses. Using this null data with different experimental designs, we estimate the incidence of significant results. In theory, we should find 5% false positives (for a significance threshold of 5%), but instead we found that the most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%. (…) Our results suggest that the principal cause of the invalid cluster inferences is spatial autocorrelation functions that do not follow the assumed Gaussian shape.
I like this example because it is very common for statisticians to build into their model the assumption that the data must follow some prescribed distribution. Real-life is complicated and rarely behaves like our models.
- We are setting up a mobile phone network on the Moon.
- The state of California will authorize fully automated cars on its roads.
- The cells in your heart do not regenerate. Scientists have found that by turning four genes “on”, they can get the cells to divide and maybe regenerate your heart.
- PhD students face significant mental health problems.