Last week I was in Ghent to give another introductory talk on Open Science —it is becoming an addiction! First, Ghent was much prettier than I expected! Second, researchers are still hesitant to open up to new practices until a clear academic reward is promised. But we are getting there, slowly but steadily…
Last week I was in Oslo, invited by the organising committee of Eurodoc2017, to give an introductory talk on Open Science . One thing that became apparent during this two-day event was that, although irresistibly trendy, Open Science remains an elusive concept. Many continue to confuse Open Science with Open Access, not to mention that almost everyone still thinks Open Access is equivalent to publishing in open access journals. In this series of posts, I will discuss a few issues that will hopefully help clarify the meaning of Open Science, why is it important, and how individual scientists can make a difference.
In two recent papers, published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Medicine, and in Scientific Reports, we showed that young athletes perform better in a sustained attention task compared to their sedentary counterparts. Interestingly, the benefits of exercise on attention are observed only during the first 30 minutes of the 1-hour task. After that, there are no differences in the performance of the two groups. We observe that during this enhanced attention period, athletes also exhibit significantly different EEG and heart period event-related potentials (ERPs). This novel finding points towards a previously unrecognised brain-heart interaction in the mediation of cognitive benefits induced by physical exercise. These interesting results on the role of regular exercise on attention have also attracted the attention of Spanish popular science journals.
Last week I attended the COAR (@COAR_eV) 2016 annual meeting hosted by the University of Vienna. I was invited by COAR’s executive director Kathleen Shearer to give a talk on peer review on top of repository networks and to participate in a working group that will discuss and provide recommendations for “Next Generation Repositories”.
In reforming the culture of peer review and moving towards a system that embraces the use and recognition of pre-print servers, we are cognizant of the need to avoid re-inventing the wheel, by identifying and using existing infrastructure and initiatives that can assist in furthering this goal.
In this post I share a recent experience as an example on how to negotiate with a publisher your right to make your research freely available without having to pay any money. Hope it proves useful to more researchers in a similar position.
In this recently published study we compared 30 experienced crisis managers with 30 managers from other disciplines, in terms of self-reported stress, health status and psychophysiological reactivity to crisis-related and non-specific visual and acoustic aversive stimuli and cognitive challenge. Crisis managers reported lower stress levels, a more positive strain-recuperation-balance, greater social resources, reduced physical symptoms, as well as more physical exercise and less alcohol consumption. They exhibited diminished electrodermal and heart rate responses to crisis-related and non-specific stressors.
The Laboratory for Network Physiology directed by Plamen Ch. Ivanov recently launched its official website. Professor Ivanov, with whom I collaborate closely for the past six years, is leading a unique team of statistical physicists, neuroscientists, applied mathematicians and biomedical engineers that have as their mission to understand how organ systems dynamically interact and collectively behave as a network to produce health or disease. This coordinated effort proposes a new scientific field, Network Physiology, to probe the network of interactions among diverse physiologic systems.
In our recently article published in “Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience”, we show that high emotional arousal is not solely associated to unethical economic behavior —such as tax evasion— as previous research had revealed. Instead, people get emotionally aroused also when making ethical choices if these choices imply the loss of monetary reward. In other words, it seems to be more stressful for someone to lose money than to make an unethical decision that causes a loss of money to others. This means that, in certain circumstances, our bodies reward unethical decisions in order to minimise the unpleasant feeling produced by decisions that cost us money. This behavior is inverted when the possibility of punishment exists. In that case corrupt decisions become more stressful than ethical ones.
In this article I review evidence showing that the current definition of asthma as chronic airway inflammation is not scientifically substantiated. Importantly, this problematic definition is distracting the medical community away from inexpensive therapeutic interventions that have proven to be remarkably efficient in numerous clinical trials.