The heartbeat-evoked potential is a measure of the brain’s electromagnetic response to individual heartbeats that is emerging as a novel and promising index of brain-body communication. Just like any other evoked brain potential, its visualisation and quantitive assessment require the averaging of several trials to reduce the influence of fluctuations that are not related to the evoking stimulus. Although the process of creating custom events that correspond to the R-peak of the electrocardiographic signal is pretty straightforward, to my knowledge there is still no commercial software to facilitate this task. Continue reading “HEPLAB: Matlab scripts to facilitate heartbeat-evoked potential analysis”
As promised, I publish here a recent correspondence between Angel Correa, a colleague at the Brain, Mind & Behaviour Research Center of the University of Granada, and the editor of an Elsevier journal. I do not wish to express my opinion here —although the title and image of this post may be giving a hint— nor to reveal the identity of the editor. I prefer to listen to what my fellow colleagues think about which are the obligations and responsibilities of authors and journal editors in the emerging landscape of open scholarly communication. Continue reading “Which side are you on boys?”
Our recent research, revealing significant differences in how the brains of physically trained and sedentary young adults process information from the heart, is now available for commentary and formal peer review in two preprint repositories: SJS (@social_sjs) and bioRxiv (@biorxivpreprint). Each of these repositories comes with advantages and disadvantages. BioRxiv is already backed by a large community, provides a DOI for indexing and citing, and tracks article usage statistics across the web. Its big disadvantage is that, just like in any other repository, articles simply sit there waiting to be published in a traditional journal in order to acquire some quality indicator —no matter how inaccurate and perverse— that will inform readers and be useful for authors in the advancement of their careers. SJS, on the other hand, is the first and only repository that facilitates a formal peer review process. Its big disadvantage is that it is not yet supported by a big community that would ensure sustainability and greater visibility. Continue reading “Our preprint on brain-heart communication in athletes and sedentary young adults, available for peer review”
Our new article, published in Psychophysiology and freely available from my Publications page, compares the accuracy of the three algorithms for B point detection included in Biopac’s popular software Acknowledge. We found unexpected and dramatic differences in the accuracy of these three algorithms, with the one based on the third derivative of the impedance cardiogram performing significantly better. In our article, we also provide a decision tree to help in the manual detection of the B point, especially by young and inexperienced researchers.
Last week I was in Ghent to give another introductory talk on Open Science —it is becoming an addiction! First, Ghent was much prettier than I expected! Second, researchers are still hesitant to open up to new practices until a clear academic reward is promised. But we are getting there, slowly but steadily…
Here are the slides:
Last week I was in Oslo, invited by the organising committee of Eurodoc2017, to give an introductory talk on Open Science . One thing that became apparent during this two-day event was that, although irresistibly trendy, Open Science remains an elusive concept. Many continue to confuse Open Science with Open Access, not to mention that almost everyone still thinks Open Access is equivalent to publishing in open access journals. In this series of posts, I will discuss a few issues that will hopefully help clarify the meaning of Open Science, why is it important, and how individual scientists can make a difference. I will start by offering my definition of Science, its purpose, and the correct approach to maximise its benefits. Continue reading “Open scientists in the shoes of frustrated academics part I: Open-minded scepticism”
In two recent papers published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Medicine, and in Scientific Reports, we showed that young athletes perform better in a sustained attention task compared to their sedentary counterparts. Interestingly, the benefits of exercise on attention are observed only during the first 30 minutes of the 1-hour task. After that, there are no differences in the performance of the two groups. We observe that during this enhanced attention period, athletes also exhibit significantly different EEG and heart period event-related potentials (ERPs). This novel finding points towards a previously unrecognised brain-heart interaction in the mediation of cognitive benefits induced by physical exercise. These interesting results on the role of regular exercise on attention have also attracted the attention of Spanish popular science journals.