statute of blind justice in front of computer screen with code

Abstract and specific approaches to justify your alpha

Following JYA, of which i am a co-author, the question how such a justification should look like is still open. We suggested in JYA to use a utility function. This seems reasonable, as long as this function is convex and can be optimized. Yet, consider the case that the function can not be optimized (i.e…. Read more »


Out of the coding comfort zone

Between R, Python, Matlab and Julia and many others, which language should you use for scientific computing? Most grad students i met have learnt only one. Electrical engineer show up with Matlab. Psychologists are keen on R and sometimes Python. Neuroscientists are a little bit more variable. Only computer scientists had in my experience a… Read more »

What does it mean to justify your statistical decisions?

Lakens and 87 other researches, including me, recently published a position paper on the p-level controversy. You can find the OSF-repo here: Part of our argument is that instead of swallowing a specific alpha-threshold (e.g. 0.05 or 0.005) as gospel, every researcher is asked to justify her or his choices (ideally before data collection). What… Read more »

How does it feel to write a second PhD

Public and private Last week i had the viva for my Dr.rer.nat. To be specific, it was a sunny afternoon on a tuesday, the 28th of march 2017. We drew a small crowd. Not only did i defend in front of four professors. It was also a public event, and because my colleague and friend… Read more »

coding screens

Some Thoughts on Code Quality in Academia

I work in a neuroscience lab. Yet, during most day hours (and some night hours), I sit in front of a computer and write code. I guess you could group this code in three domains: Study Preparation This can be workspace definitions, protocols and scripts to run experiments, or low-level code to interface measurement devices…. Read more »

Neurofeedback Difficulty and Mental Effort

In sports training, a good way to set the intensity of a training session is according to your ability. If you train too hard, go softer. If you train too soft, go harder. This approach seems intuitive. Difficulty adaptation based on actual challenge seems sensible. But how can challenge be measured objectively? When is the… Read more »

Boundary element models of several brain areas

Put Shortly: If you want to perform source reconstruction for a region of interest, and therefore ignore some of the grid points of an evenly spaced source grid, these boundary-element models of several brain areas might be useful. In a previous post, i described how to construct a symetric headmodel based on the ICBM152 template… Read more »

Template Headmodel for Fieldtrip EEG Source Reconstruction based on ICBM152

Fieldtrip [1] includes a template headmodel based on the “Colin27” anatomical MRI. While this model is fine the way it is, there are some reasons why i do not like to use it. Colin27 is not symetric and also only based on a single individual. This can cause problems when you visualize your sources on… Read more »

Skin in the Game

There are a couple of tenured, influential professors who do not like data sharing and prefer rackets consentual collaboration. They write editorials in high-impact journals and call researchers who utilize open data „research parasites“. There are a couple of tenured, influential professors, who do like data sharing. They post blogs and rant on twitter and… Read more »

The first shadowrunner

As a teenager, i was hooked on cyberpunk. One of the core aspects of the cyberpunk genre is to live outside of government and corporate control as some kind of shadow-running outlaw, and using custom-made electronics and self-written software to jack into cyberspace, hack into secure systems and fight powerful AIs. Many, including me, consider… Read more »

  • Connecting BVR, Magventure and Localite – Discussing the Idea

    Recently, our lab purchased two MagVenture TMS devices together with the Localite setup for navigation. Both companies are independent, but collaborating strongly. Magventure offers the stimulator, Localite the hardware and software for navigation. The Magventure GUI is very easy to handle and i like how the Localite software allows to use template MRIs. It gives… Read more »

  • Neurosensory Effects of Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation

    Probably everyone using transcranial current stimulation has made the experience that stimulation can cause neurosensory effects. This makes blinding the stimulation difficult, or even impossible. Usually, flickering phosphenes and skin sensations are perceived, but we also had subjects reporting feelings of dizziness and pressure. There is evidence that sensations elicited by tDCS fade with stimulation… Read more »

  • Bridging the gap between motor imagery and motor execution with a brain-robot interface

    Motor imagery and motor execution both cause similar changes in brain oscillations over spatially almost identical cortical areas. Because of this finding, motor imagery has been suggested as a backdoor to the motor system in stroke rehabilitation.  Yet, neuroimaging and lesion studies suggest that the networks involved in motor imagery and execution are at least… Read more »

  • Reinforcement learning for adaptive threshold control of restorative brain-computer interfaces

    Restorative brain-computer interfaces (BCI) provide feedback of neuronal states to normalize pathological brain activity and achieve behavioral gains. Adaptive algorithms have proven to be powerful for assistive BCIs, but their inherent class switching clashes with the operant conditioning goal of restorative BCIs. Due to the treatment rationale of restorative BCIs, the classifier should be limited… Read more »

  • Restorative or assistive BCI? The Argument for a constrained feature space

    There is a major aspect which i believe is especially prevalent in the area of BCI for Stroke Rehab. It is the apparent gap between how Brain-computer-Interface (BCI) people, mostly recruited from mathematics and engineering departments and the Neurofeedback (NFB) people, mostly recruited from practitioners and psychologists understand the treatment. In my opinion this distinction… Read more »