About a week ago I collected some data randomly. Well let me start over, not randomly my Co-PI decided it would be a good experiment to collect the data using my “super secret” technique to verify that it worked. We had six different conditions and I’ve only processed two of the conditions, so there’s still some work to be done to determine if this is real or not, but I have my initial results and my Co-PI has seen them.
The news is good! It genuinely looks like we have something. In fact, we found something in both of the conditions I’ve analysed so far. This may be the thing that convinces my Co-PI once and for all that it works. He was worried that what I had was just a motion artifact, but the data we’re looking at has no motion component involved, so that has been controlled for.
We also did this using older equipment, so that was surprising. I was worried that using equipment that wasn’t the specialty stuff that we use in my main lab would give us a result, which would have meant we either bumped into a limitation of my technique or we really didn’t have anything and I was just seeing noise. Luckily that isn’t the case!
My Co-PI, being as stoic as ever asked me to do a few extra things on the side, but the results were the same. Now he wants to do some other things with the data (after I finish with the other conditions), but that new request actually tells me something important. It means he, at least partly, believes this works since he wants to see some specific changes.
All this to say that it was a relief to find something! I was getting really nervous that what I was seeing was just a noise artifact or when I looked at the previous dataset, peripheral nerve stimulation artifact. That’s not to say that in those instances there wasn’t some noise artifact from motion or from the PNS artifact, but with both of those things accounted for, we now have a very solid argument that what we’re seeing is real.
As always more work needs to be done to further verify this, but it’s exciting that we’re checking all the boxes on our way to validating this technique. I’m excited and even my Co-PI has shown some enthusiasm for the usefulness of this technique and he and I have come up with so many different ways to use this going forward that it will be fun to explore once we have enough evidence to support that what we’re seeing is real.
All in all, I don’t want to let myself get too excited, but I’m still very excited that we’ve managed to pass this latest test.