Navigation Links
Reliability of neuroscience research questioned
Date:4/10/2013

New research has questioned the reliability of neuroscience studies, saying that conclusions could be misleading due to small sample sizes.

A team led by academics from the University of Bristol reviewed 48 articles on neuroscience meta-analysis which were published in 2011 and concluded that most had an average power of around 20 per cent a finding which means the chance of the average study discovering the effect being investigated is only one in five.

The paper, being published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience today [10 April], reveals that small, low-powered studies are 'endemic' in neuroscience, producing unreliable research which is inefficient and wasteful.

It focuses on how low statistical power caused by low sample size of studies, small effects being investigated, or both can be misleading and produce more false scientific claims than high-powered studies.

It also illustrates how low power reduces a study's ability to detect any effects, and shows that when discoveries are claimed, they are more likely to be false or misleading.

The paper claims there is substantial evidence that a large proportion of research published in scientific literature may be unreliable as a consequence.

Another consequence is that the findings are overestimated because smaller studies consistently give more positive results than larger studies. This was found to be the case for studies using a diverse range of methods, including brain imaging, genetics and animal studies.

Kate Button, from the School of Social and Community Medicine, and Marcus Munaf, from the School of Experimental Psychology, led a team of researchers from Stanford University, the University of Virginia and the University of Oxford.

She said: "There's a lot of interest at the moment in improving the reliability of science. We looked at neuroscience literature and found that, on average, studies had only around a 20 per cent chance of detecting the effects they were investigating, even if the effects are real. This has two important implications - many studies lack the ability to give definitive answers to the questions they are testing, and many claimed findings are likely to be incorrect or unreliable."

The study concludes that improving the standard of results in neuroscience, and enabling them to be more easily reproduced, is a key priority and requires attention to well-established methodological principles.

It recommends that existing scientific practices can be improved with small changes or additions to methodologies, such as acknowledging any limitations in the interpretation of results; disclosing methods and findings transparently; and working collaboratively to increase the total sample size and power.


'/>"/>

Contact: Philippa Walker
philippa.walker@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-7777
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. University of Minnesota invention helps advance reliability of alternative energy
2. The neuroscience of finding your lost keys
3. Scripps Florida scientist awarded prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award
4. RayBiotech, Inc. Executes Neuroscience Biomarker Master Services Agreement with Banner Sun Health Research Institute
5. Neuroscience: The extraordinary ease of ordinal series
6. Media registration opens for Neuroscience 2012, worlds largest brain science meeting
7. Wiring bats for neuroscience research
8. UCSF pair win Gruber Foundation Neuroscience prize
9. 6th Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, Vancouver, May 20-23, 2012
10. Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
11. Measuring microbes makes wetland health monitoring more affordable, says MU researcher
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... ALLENTOWN, Pa. , March 20, 2017 ... PD 2.0 personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a ... Company with a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions ... of life. With that intent focus, PMD developed the ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , Australia , March 9, 2017 ... data at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at ... Andreas Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest ... medicine. This globally recognised event brings together leaders at ... the latest developments in lung imaging. ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... , March 7, 2017   HireVue , the ... global companies identify the best talent, faster, today announced ... Sales Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer as ... out a seasoned executive team poised to drive continued growth ... on a year of record bookings in 2017. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The University of Connecticut, ... funding to three startups through the UConn Innovation Fund. The $1.5 million UConn ... affiliated with UConn. , The UConn Innovation Fund provides investments of up to ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... this new webinar will explore challenging patient cases when screening for direct oral ... there may be a need for bridging parental anticoagulation especially for those at ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... for Global Sales. , With over 20 years of experience in the learning technologies ... LEO, a sister company within Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Dutch philosopher Koert van Mensvoort - founder of the ... Technology in Eindhoven - has written a ,Letter to Humanity, in ... to avoid becoming a slave and victim to its own technology, but to ... ... Koert van Mensvoort – founder of the Next Nature Network and Fellow of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: