Sex and/or gender in academic writing

Many people confuse the terms for sex (“male”, “female”, “intersex”, etc.) and the terms for gender (“man”, “woman”, “non-binary”, etc.), even though sex and gender are different constructs. This sounds like a pedantic point, but it leads to imprecise writing and theorising: Is the nature of your proposed mechanism biological, social, or both?

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Tom speaks at the 1st Dutch Pupillometry Symposium

Thomas Hawkins presenting at the Dutch Pupillometry Symposium

Tom Hawkins gave a talk at the 1st Dutch Pupillometry Symposium. He presented a computational model of pseudo-neglect as an attentional gradient over the horizontal plane that fades out over time. It managed to capture individual differences in spatial bias, and when and how fast participants’ alertness faded during a task.

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How to email your lecturer / professor

This is a quick guide for students who are unsure about how to email at uni. (Or you might have been sent this guide by your prof, in which case this guide is definitely for you too!) Because email isn’t quite like writing a letter, but also not quite like texting, there is considerable confusion about etiquette. Also, many academics have unspoken expectations! The tips in this guide should help you get as quick and as helpful a reply as possible.

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Better visual working memory for APOE ε4 carriers: #cancelled? We do the math!

A new paper claims that APOE ε4 carriers, a group previously described as having poorer long-term memory, actually have better visual working memory. On Twitter, Prof Dorothy Bishop raised the issue of multiple comparisons, or rather a lack thereof… Should the paper be #cancelled?!

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What the “Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift” of neuroscience tells us about open science

A clash between two major figures in cognitive neuroscience came to a head yesterday, and it got a bit ugly. The dispute centers around a publicly posted peer review of a publicly posted manuscript. Although seemingly aligned with Open Science ideals, the public review prompted worries about ulterior motives and power dynamics in some researchers. In addition to being juicy drama, the events reveal that Open Science requires trust, tact, and integrity. This post summarises the things I’ve learned.

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Testing children with iPad games

Testing children is less easy than testing adults, primarily because they lack the social inhibition to tell psychological researchers to go away with their super boring tests. This presents a problem in developmental research: How do you reach these kids?! We developed a bunch of iPad games to test the cognition of an entire classroom in one go. And it works!

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