Brain's Idea

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I post about science, the brain and the mind. Find me on twitter: @rikunert

Richard Kunert
56 posts

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  • March 20, 2017
  • 04:31 PM
  • 73 views

Why ear plugs are great for clubbing and concerts

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

I enjoy clubbing and pop/rock concerts exclusively with my ear plugs in. Does that mean I miss out? No, I enjoy the music exactly as it is meant to be. Picture by Melianis at fi.wikipedia (CC BY 2.5) Since 2004 the urban dictionary includes the term ‘deaf rave’ to describe a ‘rave, or party, organised […]... Read more »

Huang J, Gamble D, Sarnlertsophon K, Wang X, & Hsiao S. (2013) Integration of auditory and tactile inputs in musical meter perception. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 453-61. PMID: 23716252  

Russo FA, Ammirante P, & Fels DI. (2012) Vibrotactile discrimination of musical timbre. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 38(4), 822-6. PMID: 22708743  

Zhao F, Manchaiah VK, French D, & Price SM. (2010) Music exposure and hearing disorders: an overview. International journal of audiology, 49(1), 54-64. PMID: 20001447  

  • March 6, 2017
  • 06:32 AM
  • 169 views

The growing divide between higher and low impact scientific journals

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Ten years ago the Public Library of Science started one big lower impact and a series of smaller higher impact journals. Over the years these publication outlets diverged. The growing divide between standard and top journals might mirror wider trends in scholarly publishing. There are roughly two kinds of journals in the Public Library of […]... Read more »

Vale, R.D. (2015) Accelerating scientific publication in biology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 13439-13446. DOI: 10.1101/022368  

  • March 1, 2017
  • 03:12 AM
  • 120 views

The slowing down of the biggest scientific journal

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

PLoS ONE started 11 years ago to disruptively change scholarly publishing. By now it is the biggest scientific journal out there. Why has it become so slow? Many things changed at PLoS ONE over the years, reflecting general trends in how researchers publish their work. For one thing, PLoS ONE grew enourmously. After publishing only […]... Read more »

Wakeling S, Willett P, Creaser C, Fry J, Pinfield S, & Spezi V. (2016) Open-Access Mega-Journals: A Bibliometric Profile. PloS one, 11(11). PMID: 27861511  

  • February 22, 2017
  • 04:01 AM
  • 179 views

Do twitter or facebook activity influence scientific impact?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Are scientists smart when they promote their work on social media? Isn’t this a waste of time, time which could better be spent in the lab running experiments? No. An analysis of all available articles published by PLoS journals suggests otherwise. My own twitter activity might best be thought of as learning about science (in […]... Read more »

Peoples BK, Midway SR, Sackett D, Lynch A, & Cooney PB. (2016) Twitter Predicts Citation Rates of Ecological Research. PloS one, 11(11). PMID: 27835703  

  • February 17, 2017
  • 07:01 AM
  • 212 views

Why does music training increase intelligence?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

We know that music training causes intelligence to increase, but why? In this post I 1) propose a new theory, and 2) falsify it immediately. Given that this particular combination of activities is unpublishable in any academic journal, I invite you to read the whole story here (in under 500 words). 1) Proposing the ISAML Incredible but […]... Read more »

Jones, M., & Boltz, M. (1989) Dynamic attending and responses to time. Psychological Review, 96(3), 459-491. DOI: 10.1037//0033-295X.96.3.459  

Kunert R, & Jongman SR. (2017) Entrainment to an auditory signal: Is attention involved?. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 146(1), 77-88. PMID: 28054814  

Glenn Schellenberg, E. (2004) Music Lessons Enhance IQ. Psychological Science, 15(8), 511-514. DOI: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00711.x  

  • January 9, 2017
  • 05:48 AM
  • 286 views

The curious effect of a musical rhythm on us

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Do you know the feeling of a musical piece moving you? What is this feeling? One common answer by psychological researchers is that what you feel is your attention moving in sync with the music. In a new paper I show that this explanation is mistaken. Watch the start of the following video and observe […]... Read more »

Kunert R, & Jongman SR. (2017) Entrainment to an auditory signal: Is attention involved?. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 146(1), 77-88. PMID: 28054814  

  • January 5, 2017
  • 05:21 AM
  • 300 views

How to write a nature-style review

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Nature Reviews Neuroscience is one of the foremost journals in neuroscience. What do its articles look like? How have they developed? This blog post provides answers which might guide you in writing your own reviews. Read more than you used to Reviews in Nature Reviews Neuroscience cover more and more ground. Ten years ago, 93 […]... Read more »

Vale, R. (2015) Accelerating scientific publication in biology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(44), 13439-13446. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511912112  

  • August 12, 2016
  • 06:52 AM
  • 588 views

Discovering a glaring error in a research paper – a personal account

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

New York Magazine has published a great article about how grad student Steven Ludeke tried to correct mistakes in the research of Pete Hatemi and Brad Verhulst. Overall, Ludeke summarises his experience as ‘not recommendable’. Back in my undergraduate years I spotted an error in an article by David DeMatteo and did little to correct it. […]... Read more »

  • August 3, 2016
  • 06:02 PM
  • 559 views

How to excel at academic conferences in 5 steps

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Academic conferences have been the biggest joy of my PhD and so I want to share with others how to excel at this academic tradition.  The author (second from right, with can) at his first music cognition conference (SMPC 2013 in Toronto) which – despite appearances – he attended by himself. 1) Socialising A conference […]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2016
  • 05:56 AM
  • 645 views

How to test for music skills

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

In a new article I evaluate a recently developed test for music listening skills. To my great surprise the test behaves very well. This could open the path to better understand the psychology underlying music listening. Why am I surprised? I got my first taste of how difficult it is to replicate published scientific results […]... Read more »

Singleton, C., Horne, J., & Simmons, F. (2009) Computerised screening for dyslexia in adults. Journal of Research in Reading, 32(1), 137-152. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2008.01386.x  

  • May 24, 2016
  • 11:59 AM
  • 645 views

A critical comment on “Contextual sensitivity in scientific reproducibility”

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Psychological science is surprisingly difficult to replicate (Open Science Collaboration, 2015). Researchers are desperate to find out why. A new study in the prestigious journal PNAS (Van Bavel et al., 2016) claims unknown contextual factors of psychological phenomena (“hidden moderators”) are to blame. The more an effect is sensitive to unknown contextual factors, the less […]... Read more »

Dreber, A., Pfeiffer, T., Almenberg, J., Isaksson, S., Wilson, B., Chen, Y., Nosek, B., & Johannesson, M. (2015) Using prediction markets to estimate the reproducibility of scientific research. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(50), 15343-15347. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516179112  

Van Bavel, J.J., Mende-Siedlecki, P., Brady, W.J., & Reinero, D.A. (2016) Contextual sensitivity in scientific reproducibility. PNAS. info:/

  • April 25, 2016
  • 06:39 AM
  • 790 views

Yet more evidence for questionable research practices in original studies of Reproducibility Project: Psychology

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

The replicability of psychological research is surprisingly low. Why? In this blog post I present new evidence showing that questionable research practices are at the heart of failures to replicate psychological effects. Quick recap. A recent publication in Science claims that only around 40% of psychological findings are replicable, based on 100 replication attempts in […]... Read more »

Asendorpf, J., Conner, M., De Fruyt, F., De Houwer, J., Denissen, J., Fiedler, K., Fiedler, S., Funder, D., Kliegl, R., Nosek, B.... (2013) Recommendations for Increasing Replicability in Psychology. European Journal of Personality, 27(2), 108-119. DOI: 10.1002/per.1919  

Gerber, A., Malhotra, N., Dowling, C., & Doherty, D. (2010) Publication Bias in Two Political Behavior Literatures. American Politics Research, 38(4), 591-613. DOI: 10.1177/1532673X09350979  

Head ML, Holman L, Lanfear R, Kahn AT, & Jennions MD. (2015) The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS biology, 13(3). PMID: 25768323  

  • April 14, 2016
  • 07:52 AM
  • 747 views

10 things I learned while working for the Dutch science funding council (NWO)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  The way science is currently funded is very controversial. During the last 6 months I was on a break from my PhD and worked for the organisation funding science in the Netherlands (NWO). These are 10 insights I gained. 1) Belangenverstrengeling This is the first word I learned when arriving in The Hague. There is […]... Read more »

  • March 19, 2016
  • 07:56 AM
  • 696 views

Is Replicability in Economics better than in Psychology?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Colin Camerer and colleagues recently published a Science article on the replicability of behavioural economics. ‘It appears that there is some difference in replication success’ between psychology and economics, they write, given their reproducibility rate of 61% and psychology’s of 36%. I took a closer look at the data to find out whether there really […]... Read more »

Camerer, C., Dreber, A., Forsell, E., Ho, T., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Almenberg, J., Altmejd, A., Chan, T.... (2016) Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in economics. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0918  

  • March 15, 2016
  • 12:47 PM
  • 559 views

Psychological researchers need to change their practices: here’s why

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Why is a surprising amount of psychological research unreplicable? Psychology calls itself a science but often falls short on the replication test of scientific merit. I took a closer look at the data to find out why. The journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review will publish the findings very soon, but the accepted pre-print is already […]... Read more »

  • February 9, 2016
  • 12:51 PM
  • 744 views

How language changes the way you hear music

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

In a new paper I, together with Roel Willems and Peter Hagoort, show that music and language are tightly coupled in the brain. Get the gist in a 180 second youtube clip and then try out what my participants did. The task my participants had to do might sound very abstract to you, so let […]... Read more »

  • November 22, 2015
  • 09:14 AM
  • 872 views

Are pre-registrations the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? Not really.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? In his Psychological Science editorial, Stephen Lindsay advertises pre-registration as the solution, writing that “Personally, I aim never again to submit for publication a report of a study that was not preregistered”. I took a look at whether pre-registrations are effective and feasible [TL;DR: no […]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2015
  • 06:47 AM
  • 1,080 views

Broca’s area processes both music and language at the same time

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you read a book and listen to music, the brain doesn’t keep these two tasks nicely separated. In a new article just out, I show that there is a brain area which is busy with both tasks at the same time (Kunert et al., 2015). This brain area might tell us a lot about […]... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 06:21 AM
  • 1,052 views

Are internal replications the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? No.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most Psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? Stanford psychologist Michael Frank has an idea : Cumulative study sets with internal replication. ‘If I had to advocate for a single change to practice, this would be it.’ I took a look whether this makes any difference. A recent paper in the journal Science […]... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 06:23 AM
  • 924 views

Why are Psychological findings mostly unreplicable?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Take 97 psychological effects from top journals which are claimed to be robust. How many will replicate? Brian Nosek and his huge team tried it out and the results were sobering, to say the least. How did we get here? The data give some clues. Sometimes the title of a paper just sounds incredible. Estimating […]... Read more »

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