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Comment: Re:fMRI? (Score 2) 52

by oculusprime (#47523143) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

Heh! Well yes there are chemical reactions involving the breakdown and decay of biological tissue, but the methods used in conventional functional MRI wouldn't be sensitive to that. The dead salmon result has everything to do with statistical correction for multiple comparisons, or lack thereof.

Comment: Which fMRI studies to trust? (Score 1) 52

by oculusprime (#47523027) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

The brain is a big place, and fMRI is used to study all of it because its the best method available for non-invasive study of the human brain. Some sub-fields of fMRI are pretty solid, the vision stuff for example is generally high quality. Other areas in fMRI are rife with over-interpreted and poorly controlled studies. Social neuroscience is perhaps the worst.

Comment: Re:unimpressive study (Score 2) 52

by oculusprime (#47523003) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

The dead salmon study had nothing to do with fMRI per se, it had to do with correction for multiple comparisons. fMRI measures hemodynamic brain activity at thousands of separate locations. If you don't correct the statistics for multiple comparisons you will get false positives. Even in a dead salmon.

This study may be unimpressive (I haven't read it yet), but not because of dead salmon.

Comment: Re:Lets do some SIMPLE math (Score 1) 568

Apparently some may have missed the main point of the post, so let me summarize:

We burn the equivalent of 1/3 of all the earth's current biomass every single day.

How can that possibly be a good thing? And how can anyone believe that this could never possibly be a problem?

Comment: Lets do some SIMPLE math (Score 4, Informative) 568

Ah, so the conversation has degenerated to the "controversy" over whether burning fossil fuels could be altering the earth's climate. Look, Carbon Dioxide IS a greenhouse gas. No scientist disputes that if we just keep shoving the stuff in the atmosphere forever, eventually things will warm up. The only question is whether or not we are putting enough up there right now to have this effect. So lets do some simple math: 1 gallon of gasoline requires about 100 tons of biomass. 1 barrel of oil makes 20 gallons of gasoline. The world uses 85,000,000 barrels of oil per day. Doing the simple math, we use the equivalent of 170,000,000,000 tons of biomass per day. The earth's current biomass is estimated at 560,000,000,000 tons. So we burn the equivalent of 1/3 of all the earth's current biomass every single day. I find this pretty compelling.... And don't forget the methane, which we're also pumping up there (both directly by co-release with oil drilling and fracking, and as a side-effect of arctic climate change), and which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide.

Comment: The solar minimum versus carbon emissions (Score 2) 320

by oculusprime (#46001519) Attached to: Solar Lull Could Cause Colder Winters In Europe
The original post is about changes in solar emissions, which certainly could have (and has had) an effect on climate. So why is this conversation degenerating into the "controversy" over whether burning fossil fuels could be altering the earth's climate. Look, Carbon Dioxide IS a greenhouse gas. No scientist disputes that if we just keep shoving the stuff in the atmosphere forever, eventually things will warm up. The only question is whether or not we are putting enough up there right now to have this effect. So lets do some simple math: 1 gallon of gasoline requires about 100 tons of biomass. 1 barrel of oil makes 20 gallons of gasoline. The world uses 85,000,000 barrels of oil per day. Doing the simple math, we use the equivalent of 170,000,000,000 tons of biomass per day. The earth's current biomass is estimated at 560,000,000,000 tons. So we burn the equivalent of 1/3 of all the earth's current biomass every single day. I find this pretty compelling. Changes in solar emissions may cover this up or even counteract it for a while, but eventually, if we keep shooting carbon into the atmosphere year after year, we won't be able to count on a solar minimum to compensate for it...

Comment: Re:Please ask google and apple to support webgl (Score 3, Insightful) 83

by oculusprime (#42392361) Attached to: How the Brain Organizes Everything We See
You seem to be missing something. These people are scientists. They get paid to publish papers. You can get the paper from Neuron, where it was published. (You can find it elsewhere too if you look.) The online viewer was just gravy, they didn't get paid to do it, they don't get any direct science benefit from it (no ad $ or citations). As a previous poster noted, this uses WebGL which isn't yet available on IOs. Given that most real science is done on real computers, and that his viewer is likely targeted primarily at real scientists, your complaint seems odd.

If mathematically you end up with the wrong answer, try multiplying by the page number.

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