I don't normally use this blog to talk about my work - in fact, I often tend to specifically avoid talking about it, in part because the day-to-day rigors of a grad student don't exactly make for fun reading, but also because I like to keep that part of my life separate. Sort of a "never the twain shall meet kind of deal"... only now, if you'll forgive me, I shall briefly allow for the twain to meet.
For the past, oh, year and half, my advisor and I have been working on a project involving fMRI decoding methods (i.e., putting people in fMRI scanners and then trying to "read out"/categorize the subsequent brain activity as one of two things) and visual working memory (i.e., remembering what something looks like/visual information about an object even when it is no longer right in front of your face). We've been trying to get this study published since August 2008, and it has finally come out! This would be reason enough to celebrate, but to make the icing on the cake doubly sweet, not only am I first author on the study, but it wound up being published in the scientific journal, Nature
(I say "wound up", as though it weren't a really exhausting and difficult process that involved huge amounts of works, and control experiments run and analyzed at the speed of light (all conducted by yours truly))! For those of you in the scientific know, I need not elaborate, but for those of you who aren't: it's a big deal! Nature
is just about the best journal one can publish in (the alternative being, Science
), so I'm really pleased.
So far the article is just available online on Nature
's website, but for those of you without institutional subscriptions to that magazine, only the abstract is available. BUT, if you're interested, stories about the findings from our paper have been picked up by several popular press news sources, two of which you can read here
(there are others, but I've avoided ones that fail to mention me (because I'm vain...), or ones that erroneously mention me, such as a slew of UK articles that have already conferred me my PhD (this is why you must always take what you read in the media with a grain of salt!)... and I've also not linked to any of the foreign language press). I'm probably most excited about the second article, simply because I provided the bulk of the interview material for that one (as opposed to letting my advisor field the majority of the other interviews). Lo and behold, I think I actually come across sounding quite smart. Oh, and I must of course thank Tony for taking the lovely headshot of me that graces the first article!
I will probably post once again when the article is printed in the physical print journal, but for now, I hope you'll excuse this small indulgence. I suppose from now on, when Tony and I fight, I can no longer fall back on the old standard, "Well, I'm not a mind reader!" 😉
We now return you to your regular scheduled programming.