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  • April 18, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

Is There Signal in the fMRI Noise?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper in Neuroimage suggests that methods for removing head motion and physiological noise from fMRI data might be inadvertently excluding real signal as well.

The authors, Molly G. Bright and Kevin Murphy of Cardiff, studied the technique called nuisance regression. It's a popular approach for removing fMRI noise. Noise reduction is important because factors such as head movement, the heart beat, and breathing, can contaminate the fMRI signal and lead to biased results. Nuisance regres... Read more »

  • April 10, 2015
  • 08:06 PM

The universe is expanding, but how fast?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We are expanding, well more accurately the universe is expanding. However researchers have found certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say.... Read more »

  • April 4, 2015
  • 05:52 AM

Academic Journals In Glass Houses... (Updated)

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A psychiatry journal, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD), has just published a remarkable attack on another journal, Frontiers in Psychology. Here's the piece: it's by the JNMD's own Statistics Editor. In it, he writes that:
To be perfectly candid, the reader needs to be informed that the journal that published the Lakens (2013) article, Frontiers in Psychology, is one of an increasing number of journals that charge exorbitant publication fees in exchange for free open access to p... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 11:45 PM

Operationalizing the local environment for replicator dynamics

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Recently, Jake Taylor-King arrived in Tampa and last week we were brainstorming some projects to work on together. In the process, I dug up an old idea I’ve been playing with as my understanding of the Ohtsuki-Nowak transform matured. The basic goal is to work towards an operational account of spatial structure without having to […]... Read more »

Ohtsuki, H., & Nowak, M. (2006) The replicator equation on graphs. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243(1), 86-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.06.004  

  • March 28, 2015
  • 11:00 AM

Misbeliefs, evolution and games: a positive case

by Sergio Graziosi in Evolutionary Games Group

A recurrent theme here in TheEGG is the limits and reliability of knowledge. These get explored from many directions: on epistemological grounds, from the philosophy of science angle, but also formally, through game theory and simulations. In this post, I will explore the topic of misbeliefs as adaptations. Misbeliefs will be intended as ideas about […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. arXiv: 1405.0041v1

  • March 17, 2015
  • 08:31 AM

Gender equality in science: it takes a village

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Late last year, a metastudy was published showing that, since 2000, things are improving for women working in most STEM-based fields, although there are some notable exceptions... Read more »

  • March 16, 2015
  • 11:45 PM

Pairing tools and problems: a lesson from the methods of mathematics and the Entscheidungsproblem

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Three weeks ago it was my lot to present at the weekly integrated mathematical oncology department meeting. Given the informal setting, I decided to grab one gimmick and run with it. I titled my talk: ‘2’. It was an overview of two recent projects that I’ve been working on: double public goods for acid mediated […]... Read more »

  • March 14, 2015
  • 10:31 AM

Is Higgs alone?

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

I am back after the announcement by CERN of the restart of LHC. On May this year we will have also the first collisions. This is great news and we hope for the best and the best here is just the breaking of the Standard Model. The Higgs in the title is not Professor Higgs […]... Read more »

Marco Frasca. (2009) Exact solutions of classical scalar field equations. J.Nonlin.Math.Phys.18:291-297,2011. arXiv: 0907.4053v2

Marco Frasca. (2013) Scalar field theory in the strong self-interaction limit. Eur. Phys. J. C (2014) 74:2929. arXiv: 1306.6530v5

Marco Frasca. (2014) Exact solutions for classical Yang-Mills fields. arXiv. arXiv: 1409.2351v2

Biagio Lucini, & Marco Panero. (2012) SU(N) gauge theories at large N. Physics Reports 526 (2013) 93-163. arXiv: 1210.4997v2

  • March 7, 2015
  • 10:17 AM

How radiation from space affects the Earth's climate

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Convergent cross-mapping analysis finds 'modest causal effect' of cosmic rays on global temperatures over short timescales, but rules out effect on long-term global warming.... Read more »

Tsonis, A., Deyle, E., May, R., Sugihara, G., Swanson, K., Verbeten, J., & Wang, G. (2015) Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420291. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420291112  

  • March 2, 2015
  • 11:55 PM

Short history of iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Nineteen Eighty — if I had to pick the year that computational modeling invaded evolutionary game theory then that would be it. In March, 1980 — exactly thirty-five years ago — was when Robert Axelrod, a professor of political science at University of Michigan, published the results of his first tournament for iterated prisoner’s dilemma […]... Read more »

  • February 25, 2015
  • 11:45 PM

Operationalizing replicator dynamics and partitioning fitness functions

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As you know, dear regular reader, I have a rather uneasy relationship with reductionism, especially when doing mathematical modeling in biology. In mathematical oncology, for example, it seems that there is a hope that through our models we can bring a more rigorous mechanistic understanding of cancer, but at the same time there is the […]... Read more »

Archetti, M., Ferraro, D.A., & Christofori, G. (2015) Heterogeneity for IGF-II production maintained by public goods dynamics in neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(6), 1833-8. PMID: 25624490  

  • February 21, 2015
  • 11:55 PM

Pairwise games as a special case of public goods

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Usually, when we are looking at public goods games, we consider an agent interacting with a group of n other agents. In our minds, we often imagine n to be large, or sometimes even take the limit as n goes to infinity. However, this isn’t the only limit that we should consider when we are […]... Read more »

  • February 14, 2015
  • 10:00 PM

Evolutionary non-commutativity suggests novel treatment strategies

by Dan Nichol in Evolutionary Games Group

In the Autumn of 2011 I received an email from Jacob Scott, now a good friend and better mentor, who was looking for an undergraduate to code an evolutionary simulation. Jake had just arrived in Oxford to start his DPhil in applied mathematics and by chance had dined at St Anne’s College with Peter Jeavons, […]... Read more »

Tan, L., Serene, S., Chao, H.X., & Gore, J. (2011) Hidden randomness between fitness landscapes limits reverse evolution. Physical Review Letters, 106(19), 198102. PMID: 21668204  

  • February 14, 2015
  • 06:36 PM

A very Sciencey Valentine’s day

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happy valentines day! Okay maybe it’s turned into more of a reason to spend money on chocolate and flowers than it is about showing affection — which is probably why some people hate it — but it can still be a somewhat special day. Unfortunately I’ve been struggling on what I could do for my wife on valentines day. So I thought I would work it out here and maybe even help a few of you who are stuck as well.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2015
  • 11:00 PM

Evolutionrary game theory without interactions

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

When I am working on evolutionary game theory, I usually treat the models I build as heuristics to guide intuitions and push the imagination. But working on something as practical as cancer, and being in a department with many physics-trained colleagues puts pressure on me to think of moving more towards insilications or abductions. Now, […]... Read more »

  • February 13, 2015
  • 03:36 PM

Interstellar helps physicists research spinning black holes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a saying that life imitates art and while people like to disagree with the meaning of it, sometimes art can imitate life. For instance the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes.... Read more »

Oliver James, Eugenie von Tunzelmann, Paul Franklin, & Kip S. Thorne. (2015) Gravitational Lensing by Spinning Black Holes in Astrophysics, and in the Movie Interstellar. Classical and Quantum Gravity. arXiv: 1502.03808v1

  • February 10, 2015
  • 10:00 PM

Intuition and Domain Knowledge

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Can you guess what the graphs below show? I'll give you a couple of hints: (1) each graph measures performance on a different task, (2) one pair of bars in each graph—left or right—represents participants who used their intuition on the task, while the other pair of bars represents folks who used an analytical approach, and (3) one shading represents participants with low domain knowledge while the other represents participants with high domain knowledge (related to the actual t........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2015
  • 08:30 PM

Spatial Reasoning and Pointy Things

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Try this out. The top image at the right shows a 2-dimensional black-and-white representation of a solid figure—the 'stimulus'—and then 4 'targets': in this case, two solid figures that you can pick up and turn around and investigate and two flat shapes on cards that you can pick up and turn around as well.... Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 11:55 PM

Seeing edge effects in tumour histology

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Some of the hardest parts of working towards the ideal of a theorist, at least for me, are: (1) making sure that I engage with problems that can be made interesting to the new domain I enter and not just me; (2) engaging with these problems in a way and using tools that can be […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Scott, J.G., & Basanta, D. (2015) Edge effects in game theoretic dynamics of spatially structured tumours. arXiv. info:/

  • February 2, 2015
  • 04:48 PM

How social norms come into being

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Fifteen years ago, the name “Aiden” was hardly on the radar of Americans with new babies. It ranked a lowly 324th on the Social Security Administration’s list of popular baby names. But less than a decade later, the name became a favorite, soaring into the top 20 for five years and counting. Now, a new study provides a scientific explanation for how social conventions — everything from acceptable baby names to standards of professional conduct — can emerge suddenly, seemingly out of no........ Read more »

Damon Centola, & Andrea Baronchelli. (2015) The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1418838112

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