Thursday, June 01, 2006

All's Fair in Love and Science...

...Science, that is. The latest example of declining standards in that tabloid is (you guessed it) a new fMRI study, described as a highlight of the May 18 issue:
Who Gets the Credit?

In working backward from outcomes to behavior or in strategic planning for future scenarios, one important issue is who gets the credit (and how much) for the eventual result. In the trust game, the first player has to decide how much money to invest, and the second player has to decide how much of the multiplied investment to give back. Tomlin et al. (p. 1047) have carried out a large-scale simultaneous brain imaging study and suggest that different regions of the cingulate cortex become active when what the "other" player has chosen to do is revealed, compared with situations when "I" have done the choosing.
It appears that Tomlin gets the credit, despite this irony:
Damon Tomlin,1* M. Amin Kayali,1* et al.

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

To preface my forthcoming review, I shall quote Lisa Simpson:
Lisa: I can't believe those idiot judges were impressed by glowing plastic tubes.

Homer: [wearing a garland of glow sticks] Look, Lisa! It glows. [waves one in front of his face, fascinated] Ooooh.
--from "Saddlesore Galactica"

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