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Sunday, August 5

Sunday, October 10

  1. page home edited Hi Everyone - Welcome to the Neuroscience Fundamentals Wiki for 2010 The project is now finishe…

    Hi Everyone - Welcome to the Neuroscience Fundamentals Wiki for 2010
    The project is now finished, though the pages are not locked.
    Everyone did a very nice job and there was a good range of topics covered.
    My major feedback is that for a media analysis, the most reliable source is not necessarily the most interesting to analyse.
    Comments on all projects are in the discussion pages of this Wiki. For those projects that span multiple pages, there are comments on each page.
    The two projects awarded the highest marks are Aspartame - the Sweet Killer and Slow Wave Sleeplessness.
    Old news....

    Everyone seems to have identified a topic, and so now it is down to the job of creating the project.
    Full requirements for the Project are available here.
    (view changes)
    10:20 pm
  2. msg Feedback on Project message posted Feedback on Project Lucky last - sorry for the delay! Overall - This is an excellent project - The scientific scop…
    Feedback on Project
    Lucky last - sorry for the delay!

    Overall
    - This is an excellent project
    - The scientific scope is wide but well-integrated.
    - The analysis does a good job of drilling down to the details of how key facts are presented.
    - The layout and linking are really good.

    Intro
    - Good media item with neuroscience
    - Nice tie-in to course material
    - Rationale is good, media-centred

    Neuroscience
    - This is a really good section
    - It is well-referenced (but see my query under 'Appendix')
    - The scope is good, but has a sensible structure that makes it comprehensible.
    - The image and the quotation are nice.

    Analysis
    - Identifies target audience well
    - The criticisms regarding the case-study approach are well-founded, and doesn't do a great job of showing how science is done.
    - Good analysis of veracity and the cautious phrasing regarding causality.

    Appendix etc
    - Selection process is well-described
    - Nice layout and good navigation system with through-linking of references
    - There is not much evidence of shared editing, though good commenting of changes in the history
    - You do seem to have been engaged in secondary citation, which is bad practice. You appear to have read Grandner et al. 2010, but then go on to cite the sources used by that paper. That is only OK if you actually read those other papers. Otherwise Bergmann, Adler etc should not appear in your text citations or reference list: people can find these sources by going to the Grandner paper. The theory is that you try to cover yourself by making it clear what you did and did not read, so that if (for example) Grandner has misquoted his sources, the blame stays with him. As suggestive evidence, I note that the reference for Carskadon is wrong.
    9:10 pm
  3. msg Feedback on Project message posted Feedback on Project Overall - This project is overall quite well done. - There is a lot of description, but it would …
    Feedback on Project
    Overall
    - This project is overall quite well done.
    - There is a lot of description, but it would be improved by a bit more analysis.
    - There is a lack of coherence to the scientific section.
    - Layout etc is good.

    Intro
    - Very nice introduction, covering some definitions
    - Good background to the media item.

    Neuroscience
    - The start of this section seems to overlap extensively with the intro. Later parts refer to aspects of memory using a variety of different terminology e.g. procedural memory vs implicit memory
    - I can't understand this sentence: “Any impairment of the LTM results in cognitive deficiency such as Amnesia, which is caused by the absence of clear intellectual dysfunction or general knowledge loss, hence, affecting the medial temporal lobe (MTL) structure where the hippocampus is found."
    - There are many unreferenced assertions throughout this section.
    - There is good stuff throughout here, but doesn't seem to be an overall structure, or even a clear question that you are answering.
    - More depth on any one of the issues you raised would have been welcome: e.g. STM vs LTM, different memory types and the brain structures associated with them, other functions of the damaged temporal lobes.

    Analysis
    - Good analysis of target audience
    - This is a well-written section
    - I think the analysis of the simplifications is quite good.

    Appendix etc
    - Good description of how the video was selected.
    - Although there is a reference list, these items are not directly referred to in the text
    - The Table of Contents and the linking of reference list to sources is very good. Would be improved by a “top” button at the beginning of each section to get the reader back to the Table of Contents.
    - Evidence of shared editing and good use of discussions
    7:16 pm
  4. msg Feedback of Project message posted Feedback of Project (deleted)
    7:15 pm

Saturday, October 9

  1. msg Feedback on project message posted Feedback on project Overall - Overall this was a good project. - You made a good decision to focus on the plasticity …
    Feedback on project
    Overall
    - Overall this was a good project.
    - You made a good decision to focus on the plasticity evident in the media item rather than focussing on (for example) the clinical outcomes of the procedure.
    - The survey of the science was good with some depth, but could have had more explicit consideration of mechanisms.
    - The analysis was OK, but was tricky to use to demonstrate excellence, as the media item did not contain much controversial or questionable material.

    Intro
    - Good intro - captures the interest of the reader, and clearly explains what you see as the neuroscientific issues.
    - Nice clip of appropriate duration

    Neuroscience
    - This is quite a good survey of plasticity.
    - It tends a little too much into classifying rather than explaining. An example is Johnson's 4 types of plasticity - you don't seem to go on to do much with this classification.
    - You make some attempt to link the plasticity to the scenario in the media item, which is good. However, some consideration of, for example, why Jodi can use her left leg but not her left arm would have been welcome (presumably related to bilateral innervation for axial muscles relating to posture, but not those for fine finger movements).

    Analysis
    - Good analysis of the target and level of the media item.
    - What do you think was the motivation of the participants?
    - Good point about the risks in extrapolating from a case study to the whole population.
    - Reasonable discussion of the simplifications.

    Appendix etc
    - The writing was of high standard throughout, with good expression and spelling.
    - Basis of selection explained OK.
    - Not necessary to list all authors for in text citation, just Pannier et al. (2002) would do.
    - Good evidence of shared editing, though no commenting of changes.
    - The presentation didn't take advantage of the medium: no linking to sub-sections or to references.
    10:17 pm
  2. msg Feedback on Project message posted Feedback on Project Overall - This was a good project. The topic is interesting, there is some coverage of the science…
    Feedback on Project
    Overall
    - This was a good project. The topic is interesting, there is some coverage of the science and attempt at analysis.
    - It would be improved by much more care on the proof-reading: lots of sentences make little grammatical sense, to the extent it actually impairs the reader's ability to comprehend what you are trying to convey.
    - There is not enough attempt to draw the threads you have identified together: there is lots of classification but not much synthesis.

    Intro
    - An interesting phenomenon to study.
    - The introduction does a great job of outlining the phenomenon and creating interest in the reader.

    Neuroscience
    - Good description but not enough conceptual linking. It would have been more impressive if you had been more explicit about different pathways for the three different forms of blindsight that you identify.
    - In general the aim of assignments like these is to demonstrate your understanding, so statements like this “Activation in relation to both ipsilateral and contralateral motion has been found in this area, which supports this hypothesis (Dukelow et al., 2001).” serve you better if you also explain why this is true.
    - Need to get the spelling of things like the superior colliculus right! The grammar in the section is also poor e.g. “In an experiment by De Gelder (2010) visual stimulus to participants that were blind to one half of their visual field.”.

    Analysis
    - Good analysis of target audience and language.
    - Consideration of simplifications is good.
    - Explicit consideration of the motivation of the featured subjects and the producers would be good, especially with regard to possible bias.

    Appendix
    - The best linking and navigation of any group - well done!
    - Good history of shared editing, plus special pleading in the Discussion Forum
    - The basis for choosing the media item is reasonably well-handled.
    9:38 pm

Friday, October 8

  1. msg Feedback on Project message posted Feedback on Project Overall - Ticks all the boxes, but doesn't go much further. - The item is interesting, but is a …
    Feedback on Project
    Overall
    - Ticks all the boxes, but doesn't go much further.
    - The item is interesting, but is a little tricky to do media analysis on as there is not much controversy there.
    - There is good stuff in here, but it is poorly organised, and it hard to get the sense of what you think the take-home story is.
    - It would be better to explain less, but with more details, so that you could demonstrate that you really understand what was going on.

    Intro
    - The clip deals with a fun idea, though it is perhaps a little too 'straight' to set up something interesting for media analysis
    - The introduction does a good job of setting the background for the project.
    - You should reference the source of the Bohr anecdote (presumably the New Scientist article)

    Neuroscience
    - I think the basis of the science laid out here is good.
    - However this science section is strangely laid-out. Presumably you followed Welchman's classifications of evidence into “neurophysiology”, “neurology” etc but as you haven't really provided details on the type of evidence under each heading, the distinction doesn't make much sense to the reader.
    - It would have been good to link these differences in the possible pathways to differences in ballistic vs feedback controlled movements as alluded to in the Welchman article.

    Analysis
    - Do you really think New Scientist's audience is people “with no university training”?
    - It is a good point that “21ms” without any other context may seem to be a significant time advantage.
    - You seem to have missed an opportunity to explain why Neils Bohrs triumphed over his colleagues.
    - Although OK, this section was not very incisive, had an unclear structure, and seemed to overlap a fair bit with the neuroscientific context section.

    Appendix
    - The lack of controversy in the video made it more challenging to write an interesting analysis.
    - Rationale is OK
    - Reference list is laid out well.
    - Page layout is simple with no navigation aids, but works OK.
    - I don't see much evidence of shared editing: just some sticking of independently-written chunks together. This may have lead to the poor structure and the repetition between sections.
    6:57 am
  2. msg Feedback on the project message posted Feedback on the project Overall - I am very impressed with this project - well done! - It looks good, and is easy to navi…
    Feedback on the project
    Overall
    - I am very impressed with this project - well done!
    - It looks good, and is easy to navigate.
    - The science is clearly explained, and there is a good attempt to link it to the basic neuroscience that you have studied.
    - The critical analysis of the media item is well-handled, and shows considerable sophistication in being able to discern that an overt bias does not necessarily invalidate the report.

    Intro
    - Good media item with relevance to lots of people
    - Clear justification of choice
    - Clear outline of background issues

    Neuroscience
    - Great overview of potential issues surrounding aspartame. You have done a good job of linking clinical symptoms to the underlying neuroscience.
    - Good overview of history
    - Secondary citation has to be handled carefully. It appears from “However, studies such as those by Stegink et al. (1996), show that while consumption of aspartame leads to a small increase in phenylalanine to LNAA ratio, it is not significant enough to cause any adverse effects. (Humphries, Pretorius & Naude, 2008)" that you read Humphries but not Stegink. That is OK, but Stegink should not appear in your reference list - people can find it by going to Humphries. The theory is that you try to cover yourself by making it clear what you did and did not read, so that if (for example) Humphries has misquoted his sources, the blame stays with him.

    Analysis
    - A good effort at analysis here.
    - Concise and to the point.
    - There are some typos and grammar problems: “braodcast”; “...most of these sites are not endorsed by any scientific or professionals.”
    - Good catch on Edith's blindness, and the reasons for leading that way.
    - I think you should have pointed out that the best evidence was for the poor process of approval, and that the scientific case presented was weak: 96 side-effects is probably typical for almost any compound, etc

    Appendix
    - Good effort at shared editing, and commenting the changes.
    - The reference list looks nice, but make sure you only list your primary sources.
    - The basis for choosing the media item is well explained.
    - The page layout is simple, but the graphics are clear and effective, and the navigation is excellent.
    5:26 am
  3. msg Feedback of the project message posted Feedback of the project (deleted)
    5:24 am

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