After yesterday’s win, you would think things would be smooth sailing, but alas that isn’t in the cards! I mean yesterday’s good news still applies thankfully, but wow did I wake up to a flurry of emails and now a mountain of work that all needs to be addressed all at the same time. Wait, is there an echo in here? I feel like we’ve done this before…
Since lists seem popular these days (LOLsob), let’s just go through my to-do list. Obviously the response to last paper is coming up like a bad horror movie… seven days. Most of that is done, but hospital-PI gave me some revisions to my fourteen page response letter (14 pages of just text, for reference “last paper” is roughly 12 pages? and contains several figures). Then I need to get this new data processed, which new data? All of it. Oh I’m also teaching another course (sometime soon I think…?). Then I have my latest paper that I’m working on, we’re meeting Monday to talk about that. Oh and I need to do some stuff for a different project I help out with at school.
If that isn’t enough to make a person cry, I don’t know what is!
So the paper, “last paper” that is, has a bunch of edits I need to make to address hospital-PI’s comments. Most of them are mindless so it’s just a time suck and I need to make sure to do it correctly and be very certain I modify the actual paper the same way my response letter was modified (that is the difficult part FYI). It makes it slightly less mindless and makes a bunch of extra work for me, but whatever at least I’ll be done with the paper… hopefully.
Then I got a few texts from hospital-PI this morning. We’re friends — as much as coworkers can be, I guess I like to think we’re friends anyway! haha — so texts over the weekend aren’t uncommon. Sometimes he just checks in, other times he wants to make sure I know something needs to get done ASAP. I have a super flexible work schedule, so I don’t mind this arrangement (it’s good for my physical and mental health frankly). He mentioned that he has a presentation in a week (why is everything in a week?!) and wants to show off some of the stuff we just got from “big idea,” I’m assuming this would involve a funding pitch or possible funding. We don’t typically do this, but big idea is… well big, so we’re all excited.
The problem is that this is a whole new world of data that I’m working with. I wish I could be less vague, but just trust me on this. So I’m working through trying to figure out the best way to process the data. I wish it were mindless or there were best practices, but there really aren’t. Instead I’m left to make up my own “best practices” and hope for the best. No pun intended, I’m not allowed to pun when I’m in this type of mood, I’m being…. PUNished (okay one pun never hurt anyone). But seriously, I’m working with this data and it’s doing some weird things that data we process wouldn’t normally do and that’s making me nervous, really, really, really, nervous.
So he wants me to have all the data processed and fancy figures made using this data… data that we don’t know we can even really use at the moment mind you. Basically that’s all I’ve done today is try to determine the best way of dealing with the dataset we collected. I think I have something resembling data that make sense, somewhat? But there’s a lot of incredibly high frequency (> 500 Hz) signal in there that is confusing me. Normally in EEG we ignore stuff > 100 Hz at the max (most of the time we work at >50 Hz), but there’s this large increase in power spectral density that makes no sense to me.
I’m assuming it’s artifactual or some sort of spectral leakage effect, but it makes me nervous. I’ll have to break down what all those words mean some other day (sorry). Actually some of my old posts talk about it (probably poorly since I was just learning about it)… spectral leakage (here) oh and power spectral density (here). Man those are some old posts… memories! I should write new versions of those actually, I’ve learned a lot since then, but that’s beside the point. Moving on!
I also have two new meetings on Monday, one regarding my latest paper that I’m working on, one that I haven’t really named since I’m having name block apparently so I just keep referring to it as the latest paper, which will get confusing once I start on a new “latest paper,” so name it when I make a post on that paper specifically I guess. That paper has been on hold for a bit since I have the last paper response due soon, plus all this exciting new data to work with. So I should probably get on with it and DO something with this paper before our meeting Monday…. morning it looks like. Oh good so I won’t even have time to work on it the day we meet, fun.
I also have to make time this weekend to meet with some of the school labmates to discuss the next class I’m teaching. It’s on independent component analysis or ICA for short. I maybe teaching that next, maybe. School-PI surprised me by saying I would be teaching a second MATLAB course for those who missed the first so I need to make sure I heard that correctly. He also wants me to teach a figure making class since I’ve dedicated the past year to making cool figures and now that makes me somehow a teacher. Don’t get good at anything people, be mediocre! Learn from my mistakes, wait… scratch that, don’t learn anything!
If that wasn’t enough (how long can one post be?!) I also have a solid modeling project that I need to get done by Wednesday. So if it doesn’t get done this weekend, it won’t get done at all. I would’ve worked on it now instead of writing this post, but here I am. Ironically it’s not because I’m putting off the work (for once) since I’m already super anxious about getting all this stuff done, I would be doing it now, but I can’t. We share a certain number of solidworks licenses (solid modeling software, super expensive) and all the licenses are currently being used so someone either forgot to release the license when they finished or they are using it right now. Making the work I need to do impossible, joy!
Since I was so annoyed by that little bump in the road I figured I would take a breather and write this post. Now that we’ve arrived at the end of my list (as it stands now anyway, I’m sure more stuff will magically appear as the weekend progresses), I should probably get back to doing some work with the big idea datasets. Speaking of which, I am 70% confident I’ve got the pre-processing pipeline down, but the power spectral density of the data makes me nervous that something is wrong.
Fine, quick aside…
Power spectral density (PSD) of biological data tends to follow a 1/f curve where f is frequency so as frequency increases the PSD at that frequency decreases. That looks something like this…
Stolen from one of my very old posts! that big bump at 60 hz? That’s the stupid line noise I always complain about! If you imagined a smooth curve (just use your imagination folks) it would be basically 1/f. I’m not even sure what the 40 and 80 Hz bumps are, I would guess some sort of sensor movement or other noise since 80 is a harmonic of 40. I forget what this data even was from haha. As I was saying (so much for quick aside) the data should look like 1/f, roughly if you squint hard enough. That data follows the 1/f expectation enough for me to be like, cool this is okay data that needs a good cleaning. I’ll do an updated PSD post one of these days, but that’s a good enough rundown for now.
My big idea data on the other hand does not follow the same shape. It does, to a certain degree, but not enough that I feel comfortable about it. At the moment I THINK I may have over cleaned my data (removed actual data and not just the noise), since the dataset was INCREDIBLY NOISY!!! So much noise, imagine a plot like the above, but the line noise (60 hz) is like 4x larger. The raw data look just like 60 hz waves frankly, you can’t see any other signal because it’s so overpowered. But there is underlying data there, so we have something, but who the hell knows what it means? I guess I’ll figure it out once I start trying to compare conditions, but for now I’m a little worried that I can’t get a good pipeline in place before the new due date.
So yeah hospital-PI wants me to work miracles because I do work miracles on a semi-regular basis, but this is a bit much and I don’t think he realizes is because it’s outside his expertise. We’ll have a long talk about it Monday for sure, but for now I’m trying to at least have something to show, even if it isn’t the perfect or best solution I could get with the data. I wish I could blame hospital-PI, but I’m mostly doing this for me, I want (need) to see if we have something usable.
Now seriously, this post is getting far too long and I should get back to work, so off I go.