We're a little crazy, about science!

More data surprises!

Data’s the gift that keeps on giving. Okay not really, but I wish it were!

Well I’ve finished with the new dataset I collected for my PhD project, it was a fast analysis so there is still a lot more I can do with it, but I’ve finished at least the initial processing and plotting. Overall it’s good news so now I’m just waiting to hear back from my Co-PI to confirm my findings or more than likely temper my excitement.

He and I have an interesting relationship with regards to my “super secret” technique and what it has the potential to do. On one hand, he sees a lot of promise in it and wants to pursue it. On the other hand, he is nervous that what we have may be noise/motion artifact/something non-neural related. So every step of the way I get excited about what we have and he tries to get me to calm down and proposes alternatives to what we have.

That’s the thing though, there’s only so many things that this result could be and one of them is what I want it to be. We haven’t eliminated the possibility that I have something and every experiment takes me a step closer to getting that ultimate answer that yes, we do in fact have something. I’m hopeful and this dataset helped bolster the chances that this is a real thing I have and not just a dream.

As usual I have to talk around what I have, which is frustrating. I can say that we had four conditions (okay, technically eight) and I processed half of them to the point that I was “done.” We found stuff exactly at the right time and the right places, so that was a good sign, but I only had half of it done. The next step was to do the other half of the dataset, so that’s what I wrapped up yesterday. The results were good!

Overall I once again found stuff at the right intervals we would expect to see things and in the right places. We controlled for movement, had a ton of trials, so I am fairly confident we have something. The real question is what it all means and that’s going to be tough to answer. Unfortunately this was a single subject pilot experiment so the next steps will be to perform the same experiment with several people and hope that the same results are found in all the subjects.

Basically I have a ton of questions, very few answers, and that’s science! You try to answer one question and discover 20 more that need answering you never even thought to ask. In any case, I can say with slightly more confidence that this works, so we just need to take a few more steps before I can say we have something with a degree of certainty that would make this worth sharing with the world.

Yep, that’s the post. I’m excited, it’s exciting news and while the whole thing is shrouded in mystery right now for all of you, hopefully you can be excited with me. I’ve still got a few years (if I want to graduate in five) before I’m done, so there isn’t a huge rush to get it all worked out just yet. Still, I’m just a little anxious to be able to say we have something and start to explore more in the formal science framework (aka publishing).


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