Community Newsletter: Spectrum 2021 Conference Survey, Bayesian Accuracy, Article Feedback | Spectrum
Hello and welcome to this week’s community newsletter! I am your host, Chelsey B. Coombs, Spectrumengagement editor.
Before we start, I want to inform you of a New Spectrum investigation. We’re interested in how autism researchers approach conferences through the end of the year. Are you ready to meet the crowd at this season’s conferences? Or will you be watching the action from your lab (or couch)? Let us know and look for a Spectrum article on how the field envisions face-to-face meetings in the future.
Online this week, Daniel Yon, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London in the United Kingdom, and Chris Frith, professor emeritus of neuropsychology at University College London, explained how precision is important ideas about the âBayesian brainâ.
When Bayesian theories of the brain speak of “precision”, what do they mean precisely? In @CurrentBiology @cdfrith & I explain how precision has shaped thinking about perception, learning, metacognition and social interaction. But some key puzzles remain unsolved https://t.co/lYV6SvSilq
– Daniel Yon (@danieljamesyon) September 13, 2021
Bayesian Brain Theory argues that humans and animals value prior knowledge and incoming information for reliability – and they act on what they think is most reliable or accurate. It’s about estimating uncertainty, the authors write, and this has a direct bearing on autism.
âThe characteristics of autism, such as a preference for stable and repetitive environments, may be the result of overly strong beliefs about the accuracy of the incoming evidence, so that every fluctuation in our sensory systems seems to signal the need to changing our models of the environment (and the world therefore seems unstable), âthe authors write.
Autism researcher Uta Frith, professor emeritus of cognitive development at University College London, married to Chris Frith, tweeted about the study.
A primer explaining why “precision” has become such an important term in theorizing how the brain works.
Access the final version of the article for free (until November 2) via this sharing link: https://t.co/yC8FizH2uT… https://t.co/nHQSPjOJS3
– Uta Frith (@utafrith) September 14, 2021
Michael Allen, associate professor of clinical medicine at Aarhus University in Denmark, praised the article.
An extremely useful document – well done!
– Micah Allen (@micahgallen) September 13, 2021
Sven De Maeyer, professor of education and educational sciences at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, tweeted about the link between the article and Bayesian statistical modeling.
Nice introduction on a subject that I knew less. Also interesting reading to make analogies when we talk about Bayesian statistical modeling. https://t.co/PYIYqfMqnh
– Sven De Maeyer (@svawa) September 13, 2021
Our next discussion thread this week comes from David Mandell, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and Autism editor-in-chief. He tweeted that journal reviews should be kind because they are “shaping the next generation” of academics.
I am a newspaper editor. I received a review for a fair but tough article. I softened the tongue before sending it back. I rejected the article, but the author, who is a student, thanked me for the helpful comments. Editors, be nice. Your words are shaping the next generation.
– David Mandell (@DSMandell) September 15, 2021
Many researchers shared their own experiences with the reviewers.
Naomi Ekas, an associate professor of psychology at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, tweeted about harsh criticism of an article that ultimately became his most cited.
I once had an R&R and the editor said “ignore proofreader 2, but quickly go to proofreader 3”. Examiner 2 had a sentence that simply said “this is not good enough.” Reject. “So useful ???? oddly enough, this is my most cited article right now
– NaomiEkas (@EkasNaomi) September 16, 2021
Alycia Halladay, Scientific Director of the Autism Science Foundation, tweeted: “You are my inspiration for commenting on ASF applications.”
Thank you! You are my inspiration for the returns to ASF applications. There is something good about every application we receive, we just can’t fund them all and we want fellows to keep trying and not get discouraged. It’s a jungle there.
– Alycia Halladay (@AHalladayASF) September 15, 2021
Jessica Dark, a graduate student in Organizational Psychology at Birbeck, University of London, wrote about her own experience of positive criticism with an autism journal.
It seems I have been so lucky so far. I sent my masters research for review to a well-known autism journal. They rejected it and explained why, but they also encouraged my writing and asked me to resubmit future work. How should the critics be!
– Jessica Dark PhD (@phd_dark) September 16, 2021
Don’t forget to sign up for our September 28 webinar, with Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, who will talk about the goals of developing new drugs for autism – and the obstacles researchers can face. meet.
That’s it for this week’s community newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you’ve seen in autism research, please feel free to email me at [email protected] See you next week!