Blog Archives

Another miscellaneous grab-bag of goodies, links ‘n’ stuff

the-linksIn lieu of a ‘proper’ post (forgive me, dear readers, the vicious task-masters at my proper job have been wielding the whip with particular alacrity recently) I’m putting together a list of links to cool things that I’ve come across lately.

So, in no particular order:

Tal Yarkoni’s outstanding Neurosynth website has now gone modular and open-source, meaning you can embed the code for the brain-image viewer into any website, and use it to present your own data – this is seriously cool. Check out his blog-post for the details.

An interesting little comment on “Why Google isn’t good enough for academic search”. Google scholar tends to be my first port of call these days, but the points made in this discussion are pretty much bang-on.

A fantastic PNAS paper by Kosinski et al. (2013; PDF) that demonstrates that personal attributes such as sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, some aspects of personality, intelligence and many others, can be automatically and accurately (to a fairly startling degree, actually) predicted merely from analysis of Facebook ‘Likes’. A fantastic result, that really demonstrates the value of doing research using online data.

Next up is Google Refine – an interesting little idea from Google intended to assist with cleaning up and re-formatting messy data. Looks like it could be promisingly useful.

A really seriously great website on the stats language R, designed to make the transition for SPSS and SAS users as easy as possible – very clear, very nicely explained. Beautiful stuff.

Another cool website called; you fill in fields (author, title, etc.) for sources you wish to cite, and it creates a perfectly formatted bibliography for you in the style (APA, Harvard etc.) you choose. A cool idea, but in practice, filling out the fields would be incredibly tedious for anything more than a few sources. Good place to learn about how to format things for different types of reference though.

I’ve previously written about the use of U-HID boards for building USB response devices; I’ve just been made aware of a similar product called Labjack, which looks even more powerful and flexible. A Labjack package is included in the standard distribution of PsychoPy too, which is cool. I’m becoming more and more a fan of PsychoPy by the way – I’m now using it on a couple of projects, and it’s working very well indeed for me.

Now a trio of mobile apps to check out. Reference ME is available for both iOS and Android, and creates a citation in a specific style (Harvard, APA, etc.) when you scan the barcode of a book – very handy! The citations can then be emailed to you for pasting into essays or whatever.

The Great Brain Experiment is a free app from the Wellcome Trust (download links for both iOS and Android here) created in collaboration with UCL. The aim is to crowdsource a massive database on memory, impulsivity, risk-taking and other things. Give it a whirl – it’s free!

Lastly Codea is a very cool-looking iPad-only app that uses the Lua programming language to enable the (relatively) easy development and deployment of ‘proper’ code, entirely on the iPad. Very cool – Wired called it ‘the Garage Band of coding’, and while it’s probably not quite that easy to use, it’s definitely worth checking out if you want to use your iPad as a serious development tool.

If you’re still hungry for more internet goodies, I encourage you most heartily to check out my Links page, which is currently in an ongoing phase of rolling development (meaning, whenever I find something cool, I put it up there).



Links page update

Just posted a fairly major update to my links page, including new sections on Neuropsychological/Cognitive testing, Neuromarketing/research businesses, and Academic conferences and organisations, plus lots of other links added to the existing sections, and occasional sprinkles of extra-bonus-added sarcasm throughout. Yay! Have fun people.

New ‘Links’ page

Just a quick notification to say that I’ve just put up a ‘Links’ page, accessible from the top-level menu on this site, or by clicking here. There’s a couple of hundred categorised and (more or less) colour-coded links there, all more-or-less relevant to psychology and/or computing. Hope it’s useful to someone, because it took me bloody ages… ;o)

More to come on the links page as I find more stuff/get around to it.


Link-posting frenzy

There’s been a load of stuff I’ve been collecting for a while and been meaning to do write-ups of, but I’ve had a four-armed, wall-eyed gorgon’s arse of a week (got my SFN abstract in though – boo-yah) so I thought I’d just post them all up here with some minimal comments and let any interested readers pick through them at their leisure.

First up, a nice little proof-of-concept study which discusses the viability of using Smartphones in cognitive science research: Smart Phone, Smart Science.  This is from the same people behind the ScienceXL project.

A brief New York Times article on the development of computer algorithms for analysing natural language for various purposes, notably to detect lies.

Following on from my previous post on how to make a response box yourself for about £10, here’s how to make your own eye-movement recording headset for £30. This is pretty awesome.

The NeuroDebian home-page – this is a Linux distribution which contains a massive list of neuroscience-related software tools, including SPM, FSL, Freesurfer, python and loads of others. It’s basically an entire operating system optimised for neuroscience research. I’m not (currently) much of a Linux user, but if I was, this is what I’d be using.

Article on the Tech industry’s relationship with psychological disorders, including depression, suicide and Asperger’s. – A really good site for students, mostly geared towards a US audience. Lots of articles on general college-related topics but quite a few good tech articles too. Recent good articles on: doing presentations, blocking time-wasting websites, why Android is better than iOS for students (most obvious answer – it’s cheaper), and how to write without distractions. – a frighteningly comprehensive online statistics resource. Basically a free online statistics textbook. Also, in a similar vein, Prof. Andy Field’s Statistics Hell website. Almost as comprehensive, and definitely more amusing.

An interesting project called ProtoGenie – a web-based authoring toolkit for design and running of online experiments and data collection.

And finally, an interesting write-up of a study at the University of Illnois about students, ermmm… study habits. In a nutshell – over-reliance on Google, lack of knowledge about more advanced searching tools and specialist online databases. They should have read my earlier post about how to do research on the internet.

That should keep you going for a while, hmmm? TTFN.