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Neuromancy

Moved from a psychology degree to a PhD in neuroscience - an electrophysiological investigation of the sources of sensory input to dopamine releasing neurons. From there I moved back to psychology with an experimental postdoc looking at perception with sensory substitution devices. I am looking to move back into neuroscience with my next postdoc, but in the meantime I'm blogging on a mixture of psychology and neuroscience.
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Late links, and some new people on the blogroll

I got carried away yesterday sorting out some figures for my thesis, like so:

A figure for my thesis: A recording site in the mesencephalon

An example of a substantia nigra recording site. Ooooo, ahhhh!

Here are some slightly late links to make up for things.

Three new blogs on the roll: Firstly, There and (Hopefully) Back Again by @biochembelle, on “the adventure and challenge of science and academia”. It’s nice to read other postgrads/docs sharing their research experience, and this one is sprinkled with the odd piece of useful  research advice, like the Martha Stewart inspired Six Things to do in the Lab Everyday. Conveniently, Biochem Belle has just posted a quick tour of her favourite posts.

Secondly, Oscillatory Thoughts, where Bradley Voytek writes about all things neurosciencey, including the connection between Mike the headless chicken and orgasms and a fantastic post on how to be a neuroscientist and spot neuro nonsesnse.

And [citation needed], who I’ve linked to a couple of times before. Rediscovered it through a post about statistical thresholds, sloppy reporting and biased publishing.

And some other stuff:

Some interesting thoughts by DrugMonkey on Diversifying Your Laboratory by spreading your research interests. It’s targeted more at young PIs, so I don’t know quite whether I should be thinking in that way at the moment, but I feel like quite the academic butterfly at the moment; every new postdoc position I find sounds exciting and interesting.

It’s a PhD, not a Nobel Prize! (pdf) Gerry Mullins and Margaret Kiley present research on how experienced examiners assess research theses in Studies in Higher Education. It’s like they read my mind – one of my biggest worries is not knowing what’s expected of me as a postgraduate.

An article from Linux Format sent to me by my brother detailing the stages of burnout (pdf). When I posted it on Facebook, someone replied with “but it just describes doing a PhD”. It’s probably not OK that it’s assumed that PhD=burnout. Read it, recognise it in yourself, do something about it, for your PhD, for the people around you, but most of all for yourself.

A study in PLoS ONE reports that the Journal of the American Medical Association published fewer industry funded trials after introducing a requirement for independent statistical analysis, a decrease that was not seen in control journals. An unsurprising but disappointing finding.

I’m dying to do something that calls for a nomograph (Wikipedia article on nomographs).

And more graphs – ggplot2, the graphing package for the analysis language R (Wiki article on R), has a plot builder with a GUI!

And on a personal note, I’m relaxing between thesis writing sessions by trying to teach myself the tin whistle. So far it’s mostly Fairytale of New York and Whiskey in the Jar. Any suggestions?

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