Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Fall of Freud

The works of Sigmund Freud were enormously influential in 20th century psychiatry, but they've now been reduced to little more than a fringe belief system. Armed with the latest version of my PubMed history script, and inspired by this classic gnxp post on the death of Marxism, postmodernism, and other stupid academic fads I decided to see how this happened.

As you can see, the number of published scientific papers related to Freud-y search terms like psychoanalytic has flat-lined for the past 50 years. That represents a serious collapse of influence, given the enormous expansion in the amount of research being published over this time.

Since 1960 the number of papers on schizophrenia has risen by a factor of 10 and anxiety by a factor of 80 (sic). The peak of Freud's fame was 1968, when almost as many papers referenced psychoanalytic (721) as did schizophrenia (989), and it was more than half as popular as antidepressants (1372). Today it's just 10% of either. Proportionally speaking, psychoanalysis has gone out with a whimper, though not a bang.

The rise of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), however, is even more dramatic. From being almost unheard until the late 80's, it overtook psychoanalytic in 1993, and it's now more popular than antipsychotics and close on the heels of antidepressants.

What's going to happen in the future? If there is to be a struggle for influence it looks set to be fought between CBT and biological psychiatry, if only because they're pretty much the only games left in town. Yet one of the reasons behind CBT's widespread appeal is that it hasn't thus far overtly challenged biology, has adopted the methods of medicine (clinical trials etc.), and has presented itself as being useful as well as medication rather than instead of it.

One of the few exceptions was Richard Bentall's book Madness Explained (2003) in which he criticized psychiatry and presented a cognitive-behavioural alternative to orthodox biological theories of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Bentall remains on the radical wing of the CBT community but in the coming decades this kind of thing may become more common. Only time will tell...

The Fall of Freud

The works of Sigmund Freud were enormously influential in 20th century psychiatry, but they've now been reduced to little more than a fringe belief system. Armed with the latest version of my PubMed history script, and inspired by this classic gnxp post on the death of Marxism, postmodernism, and other stupid academic fads I decided to see how this happened.

As you can see, the number of published scientific papers related to Freud-y search terms like psychoanalytic has flat-lined for the past 50 years. That represents a serious collapse of influence, given the enormous expansion in the amount of research being published over this time.

Since 1960 the number of papers on schizophrenia has risen by a factor of 10 and anxiety by a factor of 80 (sic). The peak of Freud's fame was 1968, when almost as many papers referenced psychoanalytic (721) as did schizophrenia (989), and it was more than half as popular as antidepressants (1372). Today it's just 10% of either. Proportionally speaking, psychoanalysis has gone out with a whimper, though not a bang.

The rise of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), however, is even more dramatic. From being almost unheard until the late 80's, it overtook psychoanalytic in 1993, and it's now more popular than antipsychotics and close on the heels of antidepressants.

What's going to happen in the future? If there is to be a struggle for influence it looks set to be fought between CBT and biological psychiatry, if only because they're pretty much the only games left in town. Yet one of the reasons behind CBT's widespread appeal is that it hasn't thus far overtly challenged biology, has adopted the methods of medicine (clinical trials etc.), and has presented itself as being useful as well as medication rather than instead of it.

One of the few exceptions was Richard Bentall's book Madness Explained (2003) in which he criticized psychiatry and presented a cognitive-behavioural alternative to orthodox biological theories of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Bentall remains on the radical wing of the CBT community but in the coming decades this kind of thing may become more common. Only time will tell...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dog Tpo Surgery Outcomes

Feliz aniversario Paolo Bambi

today celebrates its second anniversary of the adoption coincided with the patronage of his name. It was adopted on June 28, 2008 by Cris in Concepcion, Chile and joined the great family of Bambi.



a kitten was frightened and afraid of humans when they found him abandoned on the street. Was gradually integrated into the family and is now a fully accessible and affectionate cat, but still fears to strangers. Habits are somewhat gourmet, tells his foster mother, takes only recently served food and tap water.


Paolo is now a gentleman cat, married a year ago online with JAKIM, Argentina adopted a beautiful kitten and mom Andrea .

Photo: Andrea Benitez

The photo shows from left to right: Munchi Mascotona , the officiant, Paolo Bambi, groom and JAKIM Gatot Browns Peak, the bride.


Paolo wish you much happiness
and family.

PARA COMPREENDER!

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=129801046e70ef48&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3D8369aea477%26view%3Datt%26th%3D129801046e70ef48%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26zw&docid=401b00304b82ec9c68ad4319470892bd%7C428b9a308e17db45139afa7c243d4f96&a=bi&pagenumber=1&w=800

Para compreenderes

o valor de uma Irmã,
pergunta a alguém
que não tem nenhuma
ou que a perdeu.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 10 anos,
pergunta a um casal
recém divorciado.
Para comprenderes
o valor de 4 anos,
pergunta a um
recém-formado.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 1 ano,
pergunta a um estudante
que reprovou no exame final.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 9 meses,
pergunta a uma Mãe
que acaba de
dar a luz um filho.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 1 mês,
pergunta a uma Mãe
que acaba de dar à luz
um bébé prematuro.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 1 semana,
pergunta a um editor
dum jornal semanal.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 1 minuto,
pergunta a alguém
que perdeu o combóio,
o autocarro ou o avião.
Para compreenderes
o valor de 1 segundo,
pergunta a alguém
que tenha sobrevivido
a um acidente.
Porque…
para compreenderes
o valor de um Amigo ou
dum ente Querido,
basta PERDÊ-LO.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=129801046e70ef48&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3D8369aea477%26view%3Datt%26th%3D129801046e70ef48%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26zw&docid=401b00304b82ec9c68ad4319470892bd%7C428b9a308e17db45139afa7c243d4f96&a=bi&pagenumber=19&w=800

OBRIGADA MARIA PELO CARINHO. AMEI!!!



JÁ HAVIA POSTADO ESTE LINDO PRESENTE EM MEUS MIMOS. MAS AGORA VOU OFERECER A TODOS. SEUS BLOGS TAMBÉM FAZEM A DIFERENÇA. POIS JUNTOS APRENDEMOS, TROCAMOS E CONFRATERNIZAMOS UMA GRANDE AMIZADE, ALÉM DE UMA GRANDE DIVERSIDADES DE IDEIAS.


Ganhei este lindo selinho da amiga Anninha


NÃO DEIXE CONFERI... COMPARTILHE ..


Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos-COLETIVAS

MEUS MIMOS
OFERECIDOS/RECEBIDOS.

Monday, June 28, 2010

O MEU OLHAR!!

Ganhei este lindo poema do amigo Carlos.
Obrigada amigo.

AGRADEÇO IMENSAMENTE A ROSA. AMO FLORES..

FERNANDO
PESSOA

Poemas de
Alberto Caeiro
II - O Meu Olhar

    O meu olhar é nítido como um girassol.
    Tenho o costume de andar pelas estradas
    Olhando para a direita e para a esquerda,
    E de vez em quando olhando para trás...
    E o que vejo a cada momento
    É aquilo que nunca antes eu tinha visto,
    E eu sei dar por isso muito bem...
    Sei ter o pasmo essencial
    Que tem uma criança se, ao nascer,
    Reparasse que nascera deveras...
    Sinto-me nascido a cada momento
    Para a eterna novidade do Mundo...

    Creio no mundo como num malmequer,
    Porque o vejo. Mas não penso nele
    Porque pensar é não compreender...

    O Mundo não se fez para pensarmos nele
    (Pensar é estar doente dos olhos)
    Mas para olharmos para ele e estarmos de acordo...

    Eu não tenho filosofia; tenho sentidos...
    Se falo na Natureza não é porque saiba o que ela é,
    Mas porque a amo, e amo-a por isso
    Porque quem ama nunca sabe o que ama
    Nem sabe por que ama, nem o que é amar...

    Amar é a eterna inocência,
    E a única inocência não pensar...

    Alberto Caeiro, em "O Guardador de Rebanhos", 8-3-1914
NÃO DEIXE CONFERI... COMPARTILHE ..


Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos-COLETIVAS

MEUS MIMOS
OFERECIDOS/RECEBIDOS.

When One Neurotransmitter Is Not Enough

Important news from San Francisco neuroscientists Stuber et al: Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate.

The finding's right there in the title: dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and so is glutamate. Stuber et al found (in mice) that many of the cells that release dopamine also simultaneously release glutamate - specifically, almost all of the cells that project to the nucleus accumbens, involved in pleasure and motivation, also release glutamate. By contrast none of the dopaminergic neurons projecting to the nearby dorsal striatum, involved in movement regulation do this.

Previous work had provided some suggestive evidence for some degree of glutamate/dopamine co-release but this is the first hard evidence and the fact that basically all the dopamine input to the nucleus accumbens is also glutamate input is especially striking.

This is important because it overturns the idea that neurons only release one neurotransmitter each. In fact, it's been clear for a while that this isn't strictly true: there are various little-understood peptide transmitters or "neurohormones" that are known to be co-released, but their function is obscure in most cases.

Dopamine and glutamate on the other hand are both extremely well studied neurotransmitters in their own right. Glutamate's the single most common transmitter in the brain while dopamine is famous for its role in motor control, motivation, Parkinson's disease, mental illness and the action of recreational drugs, just for starters.

What exactly the glutamate does in the nucleus accumbens is completely mysterious at present but future work will no doubt shed light on this. More generally, this paper is a reminder of the fact that our knowledge of the brain is still in its infancy...

ResearchBlogging.orgStuber, G., Hnasko, T., Britt, J., Edwards, R., & Bonci, A. (2010). Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate Journal of Neuroscience, 30 (24), 8229-8233 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1754-10.2010

When One Neurotransmitter Is Not Enough

Important news from San Francisco neuroscientists Stuber et al: Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate.

The finding's right there in the title: dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and so is glutamate. Stuber et al found (in mice) that many of the cells that release dopamine also simultaneously release glutamate - specifically, almost all of the cells that project to the nucleus accumbens, involved in pleasure and motivation, also release glutamate. By contrast none of the dopaminergic neurons projecting to the nearby dorsal striatum, involved in movement regulation do this.

Previous work had provided some suggestive evidence for some degree of glutamate/dopamine co-release but this is the first hard evidence and the fact that basically all the dopamine input to the nucleus accumbens is also glutamate input is especially striking.

This is important because it overturns the idea that neurons only release one neurotransmitter each. In fact, it's been clear for a while that this isn't strictly true: there are various little-understood peptide transmitters or "neurohormones" that are known to be co-released, but their function is obscure in most cases.

Dopamine and glutamate on the other hand are both extremely well studied neurotransmitters in their own right. Glutamate's the single most common transmitter in the brain while dopamine is famous for its role in motor control, motivation, Parkinson's disease, mental illness and the action of recreational drugs, just for starters.

What exactly the glutamate does in the nucleus accumbens is completely mysterious at present but future work will no doubt shed light on this. More generally, this paper is a reminder of the fact that our knowledge of the brain is still in its infancy...

ResearchBlogging.orgStuber, G., Hnasko, T., Britt, J., Edwards, R., & Bonci, A. (2010). Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate Journal of Neuroscience, 30 (24), 8229-8233 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1754-10.2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Password

A few days ago, a friend of mine had her GMail account compromised, resulting in much stress for all concerned. This prompted me to change my passwords.

That was three days ago. Since then, I've logged into GMail maybe ten or fifteen times, and every single time I've initially typed the old password. Sometimes, I catch myself and change it before hitting "enter", but usually not. Access denied. Oops. It's getting slightly better, but I think it'll be a good few days before I'm entering the new password as automatically as I did the old one.

It's not hard to see why this kind of thing happens: I'd typed in the old password hundreds, probably thousands, of times over the course of at least a year. It had become completely automatic. That kind of habit takes a long time to learn, so it's no surprise that it takes quite a while to unlearn (though hopefully not quite as long).

Psychologists will recognize the distinction between declarative memory, my concious knowledge of what my new password is, and procedural memory, my ability to unconsciously type it. It's also commonly known as "muscle memory": this is misleading because it's stored in the brain, like all knowledge, but it nicely expresses the feeling that it's your body that has the memory, rather than "you".

Damage to the hippocampus can leave people unable to remember what happened ten minutes ago, but perfectly capable of learning new skills: they just don't remember how they learned them. But you don't have to suffer brain damage to experience procedural knowledge in the absence of declarative recall. I've sometimes found myself unable to remember my password and only reminded myself by going to the login page and successfully typing it. I knew it all along - but only procedurally.

The thing about procedural knowledge is that when it works, you don't notice it's there. So we almost certainly underestimate its contribution to our lives. If you asked me what happens when I log in to GMail, I'd probably say "I type in my username and my password". But maybe it would be more accurate to say: "I go to the login screen, and my brain types my username and password."

Can I take the credit, given that sometimes I - my conciousness - don't even know the password until my brain's helpfully typed it for me? And while in this case I do know it some of the time, much of our procedural knowledge has no declarative equivalent. I can ride a bike, but if you asked me to tell you how I do it, to spell out the complex velocity-weight-momentum calculations that lie behind the adjustments that my muscles constantly make to keep me upright, I'd be stumped.

"I just sit down and pedal." But if I literally did that and nothing more, I'd fall flat on my face. There's a lot more to cycling than that, but I have no idea what it is. So can I ride a bike, or do I just happen to inhabit a brain that can? Isn't saying that I can ride a bike like saying that I can drive just because I have a chauffeur?


Take this train of thought far enough and you reach some disturbing conclusions. Maybe it's not so hard to accept that various skills lie outside the reach of our concious self, but surely the decisions to use those skills are ours alone. Sure, my brain types my username and password for me, but I'm the one who decided to login to GMail - I could have decided to turn the computer off and go for a walk instead. I have Free Will! Like George W. Bush, I'm the Decider. My brain just handles the boring details.

But isn't deciding a skill too? And willing, remembering, thinking, judging, feeling, concluding - I can do all those things, but if I knew how I do them, I'd win the the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine because I'd just have solved the hardest questions of neuroscience. So can I take credit for doing them, or is it my brain?

Ultimately, every concious act must be constructed from unconscious processes; otherwise there would be an infinite regress of conciousness. If the world rested on the back of a giant turtle, what would the turtle stand on? Turtles all the way down?

Link: The Concept of Mind (1949) is a book by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle, from which I "borrowed" the ideas in this post, and which was probably the one book that most inspired me to study neuroscience.

Password

A few days ago, a friend of mine had her GMail account compromised, resulting in much stress for all concerned. This prompted me to change my passwords.

That was three days ago. Since then, I've logged into GMail maybe ten or fifteen times, and every single time I've initially typed the old password. Sometimes, I catch myself and change it before hitting "enter", but usually not. Access denied. Oops. It's getting slightly better, but I think it'll be a good few days before I'm entering the new password as automatically as I did the old one.

It's not hard to see why this kind of thing happens: I'd typed in the old password hundreds, probably thousands, of times over the course of at least a year. It had become completely automatic. That kind of habit takes a long time to learn, so it's no surprise that it takes quite a while to unlearn (though hopefully not quite as long).

Psychologists will recognize the distinction between declarative memory, my concious knowledge of what my new password is, and procedural memory, my ability to unconsciously type it. It's also commonly known as "muscle memory": this is misleading because it's stored in the brain, like all knowledge, but it nicely expresses the feeling that it's your body that has the memory, rather than "you".

Damage to the hippocampus can leave people unable to remember what happened ten minutes ago, but perfectly capable of learning new skills: they just don't remember how they learned them. But you don't have to suffer brain damage to experience procedural knowledge in the absence of declarative recall. I've sometimes found myself unable to remember my password and only reminded myself by going to the login page and successfully typing it. I knew it all along - but only procedurally.

The thing about procedural knowledge is that when it works, you don't notice it's there. So we almost certainly underestimate its contribution to our lives. If you asked me what happens when I log in to GMail, I'd probably say "I type in my username and my password". But maybe it would be more accurate to say: "I go to the login screen, and my brain types my username and password."

Can I take the credit, given that sometimes I - my conciousness - don't even know the password until my brain's helpfully typed it for me? And while in this case I do know it some of the time, much of our procedural knowledge has no declarative equivalent. I can ride a bike, but if you asked me to tell you how I do it, to spell out the complex velocity-weight-momentum calculations that lie behind the adjustments that my muscles constantly make to keep me upright, I'd be stumped.

"I just sit down and pedal." But if I literally did that and nothing more, I'd fall flat on my face. There's a lot more to cycling than that, but I have no idea what it is. So can I ride a bike, or do I just happen to inhabit a brain that can? Isn't saying that I can ride a bike like saying that I can drive just because I have a chauffeur?


Take this train of thought far enough and you reach some disturbing conclusions. Maybe it's not so hard to accept that various skills lie outside the reach of our concious self, but surely the decisions to use those skills are ours alone. Sure, my brain types my username and password for me, but I'm the one who decided to login to GMail - I could have decided to turn the computer off and go for a walk instead. I have Free Will! Like George W. Bush, I'm the Decider. My brain just handles the boring details.

But isn't deciding a skill too? And willing, remembering, thinking, judging, feeling, concluding - I can do all those things, but if I knew how I do them, I'd win the the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine because I'd just have solved the hardest questions of neuroscience. So can I take credit for doing them, or is it my brain?

Ultimately, every concious act must be constructed from unconscious processes; otherwise there would be an infinite regress of conciousness. If the world rested on the back of a giant turtle, what would the turtle stand on? Turtles all the way down?

Link: The Concept of Mind (1949) is a book by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle, from which I "borrowed" the ideas in this post, and which was probably the one book that most inspired me to study neuroscience.

BOM FINAL DE SEMANA A TODOS!!

AS VEZES PRECISAMOS REPENSAR ALGUMAS COISAS. A VIDA NOS MOSTRA MUITAS POSSIBILIDADES.. VEJA A GRANDEZA DESTE FILME!



FINAL DE SEMNA CHEGANDO...FICAMOS ASSIM...COM VONTADE DE DORMIR UM POUQUINHO MAIS!!!!!!!MERECEMOS, NÃO É MESMO!!!!!!!!





(IMAGENS DO BLOG DA DEUSA-UMA PESSOA SUPER FOFA)


Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos-COLETIVAS

MEUS MIMOS
OFERECIDOS/RECEBIDOS.

Friday, June 25, 2010

COPA BRASIL- EMPATE!!!!


Hino à Pátria
Recados para Orkut de Brasil

A Pátria não é ninguém: são todos.
E cada qual tem no seio dela o mesmo direito à idéia, à palavra, à associação.
A Pátria não é um sistema, nem uma seita, nem um monopólio, nem uma forma de governo;
é o céu, o solo, o povo, a tradição,
a consciência,
o lar, o berço dos filhos e o
mulo dos antepassados, a comunhão da lei, da língua e da liberdade.
Os que a servem são os que não invejam, os que não infamam, os que não conspiram, os que não desalentam, os que não emudecem, os que não se acobardam, mas resistem, mas se esforçam, mas pacificam, mas discutem, mas praticam a justiça, a admiração, o entusiasmo.
(Rui Barbosa)

PORTUGAL E BRASIL- UNIDOS PELA NOSSA AMIZADE.
UM MUNDO VIRTUAL MUITO ESPECIAL.
UM FRONTEIRA DE AMIGOS.
DOIS CORAÇÕES A PULSAR!!!!

http://www.webix.com.br/imagens/scrap-bandeira-capa.gifhttp://www.webix.com.br/emoticons/emoticons/bandeiras/9942.gif
http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumb_403/12433267237hWR53.jpg

O BRASIL PODERIA TER FEITO MUITO MAIS. VACILOU MUITO. MAS, ESTAMOS AI..
NEM TUDO ACONTECE COMO SE ESPERA. INFELIZMENTE.
VIVA BRASIL!!!!!VIVA PORTUGAL!!!!!
ESTAMOS AI, CLASSIFICADOS...ISSO É MUITO BOM!!!!!


Orkutei.com.br


Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos-COLETIVAS

MEUS MIMOS
OFERECIDOS/RECEBIDOS.

The A Team Sets fMRI to Rights

Remember the voodoo correlations and double-dipping controversies that rocked the world of fMRI last year? Well, the guys responsible have teamed up and written a new paper together. They are...

The paper is Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask. Our all-star team of voodoo-hunters - including Ed "Hannibal" Vul (now styled Professor Vul), Nikolaus "Howling Mad" Kriegeskorte, and Russell "B. A." Poldrack - provide a good overview of the various issues and offer their opinions on how the field should move forward.

The fuss concerns a statistical trap that it's easy for neuroimaging researchers, and certain other scientists, to fall into. Suppose you have a large set of data - like a scan of the brain, which is a set of perhaps 40,000 little cubes called voxels - and you search it for data points where there is a statistically significant effect of some kind.

Because you're searching in so many places, in order to avoid getting lots of false positives you set the threshold for significance very high. That's fine in itself, but a problem arises if you find some significant effects and then take those significant data points and use them as a measure of the size of the effects - because you have specifically selected your data points on the basis that they show the very biggest effects out of all your data. This is called the non-independence error and it can make small effects seem much bigger.

The latest paper offers little that's new in terms of theory, but it's a good read and it's interesting to get the authors' expert opinion on some hot topics. Here's what they have to say about the question of whether it's acceptable to present results that suffer from the non-independence error just to "illustrate" your statistically valid findings:
Q: Are visualizations of non-independent data helpful to illustrate the claims of a paper?

A: Although helpful for exploration and story telling, circular data plots are misleading when presented as though they constitute empirical evidence unaffected by selection. Disclaimers and graphical indications of circularity should accompany such visualizations.
Now an awful lot of people - and I confess that I've been among them - do this without the appropriate disclaimers. Indeed, it is routine. Why? Because it can be useful illustration - although the size of the effects appears to be inflated in such graphs, on a qualitative level they provide a useful impression of the direction and nature of the effects.

But the A Team are right. Such figures are misleading - they mislead about the size of the effect, even if only inadvertently. We should use disclaimers, or ideally, avoid using misleading graphs. Of course, this is a self-appointed committee: no-one has to listen to them. We really should though, because what they're saying is common sense once you understand the issues.

It's really not that scary - as I said on this blog at the outset, this is not going to bring the whole of fMRI crashing down and end everyone's careers; it's a technical issue, but it is a serious one, and we have no excuse for not dealing with it.

ResearchBlogging.orgKriegeskorte, N., Lindquist, M., Nichols, T., Poldrack, R., & Vul, E. (2010). Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism DOI: 10.1038/jcbfm.2010.86

The A Team Sets fMRI to Rights

Remember the voodoo correlations and double-dipping controversies that rocked the world of fMRI last year? Well, the guys responsible have teamed up and written a new paper together. They are...

The paper is Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask. Our all-star team of voodoo-hunters - including Ed "Hannibal" Vul (now styled Professor Vul), Nikolaus "Howling Mad" Kriegeskorte, and Russell "B. A." Poldrack - provide a good overview of the various issues and offer their opinions on how the field should move forward.

The fuss concerns a statistical trap that it's easy for neuroimaging researchers, and certain other scientists, to fall into. Suppose you have a large set of data - like a scan of the brain, which is a set of perhaps 40,000 little cubes called voxels - and you search it for data points where there is a statistically significant effect of some kind.

Because you're searching in so many places, in order to avoid getting lots of false positives you set the threshold for significance very high. That's fine in itself, but a problem arises if you find some significant effects and then take those significant data points and use them as a measure of the size of the effects - because you have specifically selected your data points on the basis that they show the very biggest effects out of all your data. This is called the non-independence error and it can make small effects seem much bigger.

The latest paper offers little that's new in terms of theory, but it's a good read and it's interesting to get the authors' expert opinion on some hot topics. Here's what they have to say about the question of whether it's acceptable to present results that suffer from the non-independence error just to "illustrate" your statistically valid findings:
Q: Are visualizations of non-independent data helpful to illustrate the claims of a paper?

A: Although helpful for exploration and story telling, circular data plots are misleading when presented as though they constitute empirical evidence unaffected by selection. Disclaimers and graphical indications of circularity should accompany such visualizations.
Now an awful lot of people - and I confess that I've been among them - do this without the appropriate disclaimers. Indeed, it is routine. Why? Because it can be useful illustration - although the size of the effects appears to be inflated in such graphs, on a qualitative level they provide a useful impression of the direction and nature of the effects.

But the A Team are right. Such figures are misleading - they mislead about the size of the effect, even if only inadvertently. We should use disclaimers, or ideally, avoid using misleading graphs. Of course, this is a self-appointed committee: no-one has to listen to them. We really should though, because what they're saying is common sense once you understand the issues.

It's really not that scary - as I said on this blog at the outset, this is not going to bring the whole of fMRI crashing down and end everyone's careers; it's a technical issue, but it is a serious one, and we have no excuse for not dealing with it.

ResearchBlogging.orgKriegeskorte, N., Lindquist, M., Nichols, T., Poldrack, R., & Vul, E. (2010). Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism DOI: 10.1038/jcbfm.2010.86

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BRASIL X PORTUGAL

ESTE DIA VAI DAR O QUE COMENTAR!!!!!!
25 DE JUNHO DE 2010!!!!!!


Orkutei.com.br


MEUS AMIGOS DE PORTUGAL VAMOS ESTAR TODOS UNIDOS TORCENDO...
QUE VENÇA O MELHOR...
NOSSA AMIZADE JÁ VENCEU!!!!!
SÍMBOLO NACIONAL

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_035yQES7oLc/TB6FpuQBhQI/AAAAAAAABlE/L5Kvi-gjmAE/s1600/portugal-flag-large.gif

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-gjsAS6Kw9M/SabfUDClhZI/AAAAAAAAAlo/sBRwyzrL9K0/s320/Mapa_do_Brasil_com_a_Bandeira_Nacional.png
AQUI TODOS SE UNEM PELA GRANDE AMIZADE.
UMA NAÇÃO TODA ESTÁ UNIDA PARA TORCER.
VIVA A TODOS NÓS!!!!




Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos-COLETIVAS

MEUS MIMOS
OFERECIDOS/RECEBIDOS.


SANDRA

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carlat's Unhinged

Well he's not. Actually, I haven't met him, so it's always possible. But what he certainly has done is written a book called Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry.

Daniel Carlat's best known online for the Carlat Psychiatry Blog and in the real world for the Carlat Psychiatry Report. Unhinged is his first book for a general audience, though he's previously written several technical works aimed at doctors. It comes hot on the heels of a number of other recent books offering more or less critical perspectives on modern psychiatry, notably these ones.

Unhinged offers a sweeping overview of the whole field. If you're looking for a detailed examination of the problems around, say, psychiatric diagnosis, you'd do well to read Crazy Like Us as well. But as an overview it's a very readable and comprehensive one, and Carlat covers many topics that readers of his blog, or indeed of this one, would expect: the medicalization of normal behaviour, to over-diagnosis, the controversy over pediatric psychopharmacology, brain imaging and the scientific state of biological psychiatry, etc.

Carlat is unique amongst authors of this mini-genre, however, in that he is himself a practising psychiatrist, and moreover, an American one. This is important, because almost everyone agrees that to the extent that there is a problem with psychiatry, American psychiatry has it worst of all: it's the country that gave us the notorious DSM-IV, where drugs are advertised direct-to-the-consumer, where children are diagnosed with bipolar and given antipsychotics, etc.

So Carlat is well placed to report from the heart of darkness and he doesn't disappoint, as he vividly reveals how dizzying sums of drug company money sway prescribing decisions and even create diseases out of thin air. His confessional account of his own time as a paid "representative" for the antidepressant Effexor (also discussed in the NYT), and of his dealings with other reps - the Paxil guy, the Cymbalta woman - have to be read to be believed. We're left with the inescapable conclusion that psychiatry, at least in America, is institutionally corrupt.

Conflict of interest is a tricky thing though. Everyone in academia and medicine has mentors, collaborators, people who work in the office next door. The social pressure against saying or publishing anything that explicitly or implicitly criticizes someone else is powerful. Of course, there are rivalries and controversies, but they're firmly the exception.

The rule is: don't rock the boat. And given that in psychiatry, all but a few of the leading figures have at least some links to industry, that means everyone's in the same boat with Pharma, even the people who don't, personally, accept drug company money. I think this is often overlooked in all the excitement over individual scandals.

For all this, Carlat is fairly conservative in his view of psychiatric drugs. They work, he says, a lot of the time, but they're rarely the whole answer. Most people need therapy, too. His conclusion is that psychiatrists need to spend more time getting to know their patients, instead of just handing out pills and then doing a 15 minute "med check" - a great way of making money when you're getting paid per patient (4 patients per hour: ker-ching!), but probably not a great way of treating people.

In other words, psychiatrists need to be psychotherapists as well as psychopharmacologists. It's not enough to just refer people to someone else for the therapy: in order to treat mental illness you need one person with the skills to address both the biological and the psychological aspects of the patient's problems. Plus, patients often find it frustrating being bounced back and forth between professionals, and it's a recipe for confusion ("My psychiatrist says this but my therapist says...")

This leads Carlat to the controversial conclusion that psychiatrists should no longer have a monopoly on prescribing medications. He supports the idea of (appropriately trained) prescribing psychologists, an idea which has taken off in a few US states but which is hotly debated.

As he puts it, for a psychiatrist, the years in medical school spent delivering babies and dissecting kidneys are rarely useful. So there's no reason why a therapist can't learn the necessary elements of psychopharmacology - which drugs do what, how to avoid dangerous drug interactions - in say one or two years.

Such a person would be at least as good as a psychiatrist at providing integrated pills-and-therapy care. In fact, he says, an even better option would be to design an entirely new type of training program to create such "integrated" mental health professionals from the ground up - neither doctors nor therapists but something combining the best aspects of both.

There does seem to be a paradox here, however: Carlat has just spent 200 pages explaining how drug companies distort the evidence and bribe doctors in order to push their latest pills at people, many of whom either don't need medication or would do equally well with older, much cheaper drugs. Now he's saying that more people should be licensed to prescribe the same pills? Whose side is he on?

In fact, Carlat's position is perfectly coherent: his concern is to give patients the best possible care, which is, he thinks, combined medication and therapy. So he is not "anti" or "pro-medication" in any simple sense. But still, if psychiatry has been corrupted by drug company money, what's to stop the exact same thing happening to psychologists as soon as they got the ability to prescribe?

I think the answer to this can only be that we must first cut the problem off at its source by legislation. We simply shouldn't allow drug companies the freedom to manipulate opinion in the way that they do. It's not inevitable: we can regulate them. The US leads the world in some areas: since 2007, all clinical trials conducted in the country must be pre-registered, and the results made available on a public website, clinicaltrials.gov.

The benefits, in terms of keeping drug manufacturer's honest, are far too many to explain here. Other places, like the European Union, are just starting to follow suit. But America suffers from a split personality in this regard. It's also one of the only countries to allow direct-to-consumer drug advertising, for example. Until the US gets serious about restraining Pharma influence in all its forms, giving more people prescribing rights might only aggravate the problem.

Carlat's Unhinged

Well he's not. Actually, I haven't met him, so it's always possible. But what he certainly has done is written a book called Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry.

Daniel Carlat's best known online for the Carlat Psychiatry Blog and in the real world for the Carlat Psychiatry Report. Unhinged is his first book for a general audience, though he's previously written several technical works aimed at doctors. It comes hot on the heels of a number of other recent books offering more or less critical perspectives on modern psychiatry, notably these ones.

Unhinged offers a sweeping overview of the whole field. If you're looking for a detailed examination of the problems around, say, psychiatric diagnosis, you'd do well to read Crazy Like Us as well. But as an overview it's a very readable and comprehensive one, and Carlat covers many topics that readers of his blog, or indeed of this one, would expect: the medicalization of normal behaviour, to over-diagnosis, the controversy over pediatric psychopharmacology, brain imaging and the scientific state of biological psychiatry, etc.

Carlat is unique amongst authors of this mini-genre, however, in that he is himself a practising psychiatrist, and moreover, an American one. This is important, because almost everyone agrees that to the extent that there is a problem with psychiatry, American psychiatry has it worst of all: it's the country that gave us the notorious DSM-IV, where drugs are advertised direct-to-the-consumer, where children are diagnosed with bipolar and given antipsychotics, etc.

So Carlat is well placed to report from the heart of darkness and he doesn't disappoint, as he vividly reveals how dizzying sums of drug company money sway prescribing decisions and even create diseases out of thin air. His confessional account of his own time as a paid "representative" for the antidepressant Effexor (also discussed in the NYT), and of his dealings with other reps - the Paxil guy, the Cymbalta woman - have to be read to be believed. We're left with the inescapable conclusion that psychiatry, at least in America, is institutionally corrupt.

Conflict of interest is a tricky thing though. Everyone in academia and medicine has mentors, collaborators, people who work in the office next door. The social pressure against saying or publishing anything that explicitly or implicitly criticizes someone else is powerful. Of course, there are rivalries and controversies, but they're firmly the exception.

The rule is: don't rock the boat. And given that in psychiatry, all but a few of the leading figures have at least some links to industry, that means everyone's in the same boat with Pharma, even the people who don't, personally, accept drug company money. I think this is often overlooked in all the excitement over individual scandals.

For all this, Carlat is fairly conservative in his view of psychiatric drugs. They work, he says, a lot of the time, but they're rarely the whole answer. Most people need therapy, too. His conclusion is that psychiatrists need to spend more time getting to know their patients, instead of just handing out pills and then doing a 15 minute "med check" - a great way of making money when you're getting paid per patient (4 patients per hour: ker-ching!), but probably not a great way of treating people.

In other words, psychiatrists need to be psychotherapists as well as psychopharmacologists. It's not enough to just refer people to someone else for the therapy: in order to treat mental illness you need one person with the skills to address both the biological and the psychological aspects of the patient's problems. Plus, patients often find it frustrating being bounced back and forth between professionals, and it's a recipe for confusion ("My psychiatrist says this but my therapist says...")

This leads Carlat to the controversial conclusion that psychiatrists should no longer have a monopoly on prescribing medications. He supports the idea of (appropriately trained) prescribing psychologists, an idea which has taken off in a few US states but which is hotly debated.

As he puts it, for a psychiatrist, the years in medical school spent delivering babies and dissecting kidneys are rarely useful. So there's no reason why a therapist can't learn the necessary elements of psychopharmacology - which drugs do what, how to avoid dangerous drug interactions - in say one or two years.

Such a person would be at least as good as a psychiatrist at providing integrated pills-and-therapy care. In fact, he says, an even better option would be to design an entirely new type of training program to create such "integrated" mental health professionals from the ground up - neither doctors nor therapists but something combining the best aspects of both.

There does seem to be a paradox here, however: Carlat has just spent 200 pages explaining how drug companies distort the evidence and bribe doctors in order to push their latest pills at people, many of whom either don't need medication or would do equally well with older, much cheaper drugs. Now he's saying that more people should be licensed to prescribe the same pills? Whose side is he on?

In fact, Carlat's position is perfectly coherent: his concern is to give patients the best possible care, which is, he thinks, combined medication and therapy. So he is not "anti" or "pro-medication" in any simple sense. But still, if psychiatry has been corrupted by drug company money, what's to stop the exact same thing happening to psychologists as soon as they got the ability to prescribe?

I think the answer to this can only be that we must first cut the problem off at its source by legislation. We simply shouldn't allow drug companies the freedom to manipulate opinion in the way that they do. It's not inevitable: we can regulate them. The US leads the world in some areas: since 2007, all clinical trials conducted in the country must be pre-registered, and the results made available on a public website, clinicaltrials.gov.

The benefits, in terms of keeping drug manufacturer's honest, are far too many to explain here. Other places, like the European Union, are just starting to follow suit. But America suffers from a split personality in this regard. It's also one of the only countries to allow direct-to-consumer drug advertising, for example. Until the US gets serious about restraining Pharma influence in all its forms, giving more people prescribing rights might only aggravate the problem.

UM PRESENTE ESPECIAL PARA ALGUÉM ESPECIAL!!!!

HOJE QUERO FAZER UM CARINHO MUITO ESPECIAL A UMA AMIGA MUITO CARINHOSA. VOCÊ MARIA...

RECEBA ESTE LIDO GESTO DE CARINHO QUE FIZ PARA O SEU OLHAR TODO ESPECIAL....

UM CANTINHO MUITO ESPECIAL.



MARIA ESTE PRESENTE É PARA VOCÊ!!!!
MÃO SEI FAZER COM MOVIMENTOS E BRILHOS...
MAS É DE CORAÇÃO.
ESPERO QUE VOCÊ GOSTE.


SE VOCÊ AINDA NÃO LEU A POSTAGEM ABAIXO,
(VALE A PENA VER),GOSTARIA DE CONVID-A-LOS, POIS É MUITO REFLEXIVA. MUITO OBRIGADA PELA SUA VISITA, PELO SEU CARINHO...



VENHA INTERAGIR COMIGO AQUI:



Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos-COLETIVAS

MEUS MIMOS
OFERECIDOS/RECEBIDOS.


SANDRA