What's even more electrifying about Button et al. is a set of meta-anlaysis to determine the degree to which low power is a problem in neuroscience. In imaging studies, power was typically about 8%; in a large set of animals studies between 18-31%, and in papers being meta-analyzed in neuroscience 21%. That's astonishing! This data suggests that most neuroscience studies are not at all adequate for accurate study of the effects of interest. Moreover, there were more poisitive findings reported in these studies than is statistically plausible given their low power.
Overall, Button et al., is a must-read for serious neuroscienctists and should become required reading for graduate programs.
How could previous studies been so wrong? Again, both papers independently confirm that PKM-zip inhibitors are dirty: they can disrupt memory/LTP even in KO mice.
It's nice to see that these results were published in Nature. Maybe this will lead to more concern over specificity of pharmacological manipulations. Well, that's probably asking too much.
The human brain project is the European version. They propose generating strategic data (of some sort), developing frameworks and services for collecting/sharing/analyzing data, servicses for large-scale modeling, and services for neurorobotics. Ramp up in 2 years, complete the project in 6! Again, some good ideas (integrating across multiple levels) but seems extremely vague and fantastical. If we want to get seriously systematic, why not adopt the approach biologists have successfully used of focusing on 1 organism and systematically tearing it apart (e.g. e coli, c. elegans, d. melanogaster)? Markram's vision seems to be to somehow organize the chaos that is current neuroscience, but through software tools rather than systematicity in the research endeavors.
My prediction: 2bln wasted.
This is my selection of recent papers in neuroscience that reflect big/important findings. I try to add articles monthly, and focus on articles that change the way I think about things or that provide good summaries of areas that I'm interested in. I hope you'll find it useful to follow this group and/or subscribe to the rss feed. If you come across an article I should include, send me a message via Mendeley.