We're a little crazy, about science!

Initial results!

Okay I’m excited! I had a project my Co-PI offered me for the summer that I really, REALLY wanted to do (this one). We’ve been slowly collecting data and haven’t had a chance to do a detailed analysis of the result yet. It looked like we had something cool, but we weren’t sure what it was. Our data had a lot of noise in it (which is a given when working with EEG) and we needed to clean it to give us a better “view” of what was going on, so yesterday I sat down to do just that…

It’s been a stressful time. I’m working on three different projects simultaneously and two of them have the same deadline at the end of the month (15 days…). We also have a summer internship program which I’m a mentor for (more here) and they are requiring an abstract with some results (and hopefully a figure) by tomorrow. I hate short deadlines, but we’re doing it and it will be good for the intern I’m working with to do this. She also has the chance to win some money and give an actual talk on her work. She’s not thrilled about the last part of that though.

Since we’re at the wire and I wanted to give some sort of result to the work we did and not just talk about the analysis we performed, I got to work on data processing. That meant writing code from scratch to get the data in the format we needed and cleaned up so it wouldn’t be so noise, but damn it I did it.

It took 8 hours of sitting in front of my computer typing away and banging my head against the keyboard. Also a lot of stopping to pay attention to one of my cats who would not leave me alone until I gave her the required number of pets. She gets very forceful with her love and you WILL stop what you’re doing to pet her or else. No really…

Sorry about the photo quality, I was being mauled to death my a cat who desperately wanted me to pet her. I wish I could say my other cat was better, but she’s just as bad. She likes to play with the mouse cord (tail?!), but at least she sits there while I work and doesn’t actively try to climb on me.

Notice the mouse cord in between her paws…

Fun fact about me, I dedicated my masters thesis to these two trouble makers, by saying something along the lines of, “I could’ve gotten the work done twice as fast if it weren’t for them.” So yeah, despite all the struggles and there were a lot (mostly cat induced) I got some results! So far we have 5 or 6 datasets collected and I just finished one all the way through, we did a quick analysis of the others though and the data looks the way I expected. Now that it’s cleaned it looks a lot nicer and makes it easier to see what we wanted to find.

I have to say, while I cannot talk about what we found… yet. I tell you it’s pretty cool. More importantly it is something somewhat unexpected. But as of right now (between the data I fully processed and the data we mostly processed) it looks like we did what we set out to do! It’s all very exciting and since this is a “quick and dirty” experiment I suspect the results will get published sooner rather than later. Once it does you better believe I’m going to spend like a full week talking about the implications and why this is amazing…. hopefully, if the rest of the results pan out.

Today we’re collecting more data, but I should have the full dataset (the “required” number of subjects to show significance) before the end of next week. If all goes well we could have this submitted for review by the end of next month! Maybe that’s a little ambitious, but it would be nice to get something ACTUALLY published. Things keep piling up and nothing is getting out so it’s making me nervous and a little disheartened. I want to talk about my cool research damn it!

In any case, the next few days will go fairly quickly since I have other data I need to play with there may not be time to work with more of this data. Since I have the code written now the rest of this will (in a perfect world) go much smoother. Either way the experiment result will get published, but I’m really hopeful that the initial results aren’t some sort of fluke. Unfortunately there’s only one way to find out and that is to do some more analysis, which will sadly have to wait until after the weekend at the earliest (*sad face*).


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