Thou Shalt Not Smooth!

This is a very short post for those dabbling in the dark arts of network neuroscience. Everyone else, read this or this, they’re probably more fun anyway.

degree_new

[Figure from Eur. J. Neurosci, doi: 10.1111/ejn.13717]

Q: When building ROI-level functional brain networks from fMRI data, should I apply spatial smoothing to the voxel time series?

A: No you should not, what were you thinking? See above; it messes up your degrees and links non-uniformly, and in general has weird effects. In any case, you already average your voxel time series to get your ROIs, which is brutal enough. For more, see our recent (open-access) paper in the European Journal of Neuroscience, with @TuomasAlakorkko and @eglerean and @hpsaarimaki and Onerva Korhonen.

A Neuroscience Conference On Twitter

braintc

My colleagues at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Aalto University are organizing the Brain Twitter Conference. It takes place on Twitter on the 20th of April, with an impressive list of speakers. Talks and keynotes will be delivered under the #brainTC hashtag.

While the idea of a Twitter conference may sound like a gimmick, it should be taken seriously – not as a substitute but as something new. There are no coffee breaks or conference dinners for socializing, but anyone can attend for free. And, even better, because the tweets will remain available, a kind of time travel becomes possible – one can revisit any talk, any discussion, and any debate at will. The conference becomes frozen in time.