Science AMA Series: We are John Foxe and Paul Bolam, Editors-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neuroscience, AMA!

Abstract

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I am a psychiatrist who would love to get into the more fundamental neuroscientific research (I am especially interested in the role of hormones like cortisol, oxytocine, oestrogens and testosterone on the development of psychiatric diseases). Unfortunately, most research opportunities for psychiatrists are more clinical in nature (more about interventions than about really understanding the neurobiological basis of psychiatric diseases. So my question is: how can I get into neuroscientific research? Should I start with clinical research to get research experience and a PhD? Or is it better to 'restart' my career, by trying to get a PhD spot in neuroscience? I know that won't be easy, both because of extra education I would need and financially. Thanks in advance for your answer and keep up the great work you are doing!

Cerebella1

John Foxe here: Well, first things first – it is great that you are so motivated to add a research component to your portfolio. To really answer your question though, we’d need to know a bit more about what your current situation is. Are you currently in private practice or are you at a research-focused medical center? If the latter, perhaps the very first thing would be to approach your Chair or the Chair of your Neuroscience department to see if there are any good opportunities to work in an already established lab, where you could get involved and hone your skills. Going back to take a PhD would obviously be great, and many PhDs come with funding (albeit rather basic), but of course, if you are already at an advanced state of your career as a Psychiatrist, this may not be practicable.


What's the most exciting research you've read recently?

stubearr

Paul: For me, what’s incredibly exciting in the field of neuroscience is the ability to genetically modify animals and introduce genetic information. This enables us to create incredible disease models and incredible tools to probe the function the nervous system. An example would be some of the genetic models of Parkinson’s disease which are helping us to understand what actually goes wrong and hopefully in the future provide clues to new therapies. One of the most exciting tools is ‘optogentics’ which allows us to manipulate the activity of selected sub-populations of neurons.


What's the most exciting research you've read recently?

stubearr

John Foxe here: We get so many fantastic papers at EJN, so this is a tough one. One of our recent papers on multisensory body representations caught my attention and is a great read - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13629/full


Thanks for this AMA!

With regards to the neurophysiology in schizophrenia patients; has it been a point of interest in uncovering the relationship between those with schizophrenia and their enlarged lateral ventricles? What are your takes/ findings on the difference between those of a healthy person. As an undergraduate psychology and neuroscience student i am completely fascinated by the disorder.

PeteRich

John Foxe here: I would point you to this relatively recent paper in Brain Imaging and Behavior that shows that even in first episode patients, you already see evidence of enlarged ventricles - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11682-015-9493-2 There is so much more to be done to understand what gives rise to the progressive brain volume losses that are sen in Schizophrenia.


@John Are things like Autism an observable brain defect? Are there any ways that we are looking at treating it?

I've heard the term "non-neuro-typical", meaning that many people with Autism or similar disorders defines themselves by it - meaning that "fixing" it would change who the human being actually is. If we hypothetically could "fix" autism or similar brain disorders, would we?

The misinformation regarding Autism has lead to some horror stories regarding the disease, vaccination aside, for instance caregivers recommending giving chlorine bleach to autistic kids. (Source: my brother's kids has autism and this has been recommended to them)

ReenenLaurie

John Foxe here: The first thing to point out is that the term Autism is used to encompass a broad heterogenous group of individuals with varying degrees of symptom severity, from relatively mild to very severe. So, in most individuals, who are considered “high functioning” (i.e. folks with IQ in the normal range), where symptoms are mild, there is no consistent finding from neuroimaging or neuropathological studies that one could point to as “observable”. Rather, more subtle brain differences can be detected in large group studies, but would not be detectable in a given individual. On the other hand, in some severe cases of Autism, particularly those that are linked to specific gene mutations, there can be quite evident (observable) brain pathology.


Thanks for this AMA!

I am currently an undergrad in Neuroscience. I have been working in a lab for some years now, and when I started I absolutely loved it; it was exciting and I was passionate about the work. Now I am really starting to feel the effects of burn out. The lab used to be one of my favorite places and now I'm miserable there.

My question is: have any of you faced disillusionment with your chosen field? What made you decide to stick with it/how did you cope?

gorgeousaurus

Paul: We all go through low periods in the lab and I am sure we have all wanted to give up at some point in our careers. But science in great, as you well know and things will improve.

Have a few pints, read a few papers and think of some cool experiments. John may have a few thoughts on this. Just remember how great it is to do science!


Thank you for the AMA! I have a question (with background) on the business model of scientific publishing.

As a researcher and author I perform and acquire the funds for original research and write the original manuscript.

The journal charges me to publish and also charges me to access articles in the journal. In addition, most research is performed with the help of public funds and very few journals offer immediate access (without exorbitant fees) to the public.

As a reviewer I critically review manuscripts for free.

Besides making the decision to let a submission be reviewed and minor editorial changes, journal editors act as mediators between authors and reviewers and as I understand their pay is at best minimal. It is expected that most (if not all) of their pay comes from their academic institutions.

Overall, publishing companies (like Reed-Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer and Sage) collect money for what is essentially pro bono work: submission fees + access fees + free original content + free review + (almost) free editorial work = PROFIT for the publishing company

As journal editors, I would like your opinion on this business model of knowledge dissemination and whether you think it is sustainable long term. I think this industry is ripe for disruption and only requires more people to stop participating in the madness that previous generations have helped create.

dysregulation

John Foxe: Some things to know about EJN. 1) It is FREE to publish your papers with us. We have no submission fees or page charges, and colour figures are free for online publication and optional in the printed version. 2) The journal is co-owned by our parent society FENS and Wiley. This means that half of all proceeds go to support FENS activities, such as our annual meeting, workshops, scholarships etc. In other words, the proceeds go back into the Neuroscience community. This is why it is so important to support the society-journals. 3) Authors can choose (many do) to publish their work as OPEN ACCESS. This, of course, requires a fee. The current fee at EJN is very much in the middle of the distribution.


What activities or diet choices are best at increasing neurogenesis? Are any of the marketed nootropics actually effective at improving memory?

bcld1980

Paul: Exercise!


What activities or diet choices are best at increasing neurogenesis? Are any of the marketed nootropics actually effective at improving memory?

bcld1980

John Foxe here: I'd like to say wine :-) I'm not sure that I can give you any solid advice on what is best to take (if anything), but one piece of advice I would give is to be extremely critical and skeptical of most of the claims being made out there. Unless you can read a solid piece of scientific evidence (i.e. a properly controlled clinical trial) in the primary reputable neuroscience literature, the claims are almost certainly untrue. I like to follow David Colquhoun on Twitter @david_colquhoun and through his blog http://www.dcscience.net/ as he loves nothing more than to expose the nonsense that is often claimed in this domain.


What activities or diet choices are best at increasing neurogenesis? Are any of the marketed nootropics actually effective at improving memory?

bcld1980

John: Based on the work completed in animals, exercise and living in an enriched environment with plenty of social interactions appear to be the best ways to increase neurogenesis. Also, diets prescribed to keep your heart healthy will also help keep your brain healthy. We do still have much to learn about neurogenesis in humans and how it relates to the work completed in animals.


What’s your favorite part of being the Editors of the European Journal of Neuroscience?

Yebs01211

Paul: Reading new papers and exciting science. Helping scientists to publish their work. Ensuring that the highest of scientific and ethical standards are being maintained.


What’s your favorite part of being the Editors of the European Journal of Neuroscience?

Yebs01211

John Foxe here: I often say that being an editor of EJN is a bit like being permanently in Graduate School. You end up reading a massive number of papers across an enormous span of sub-fields. It forces you to stay sharp and up-to-date, and it introduces you to the very latest work on a daily (hourly) basis. Also, as an Irishman, I am just personally proud, and deeply honoured, to serve in this role.


Best advise for new researchers?

PhillKD

John: Read, read, read (especially in EJN). Don't get too attached to your theories, because they are probably wrong. Remember that data don't lie, that you are in pursuit of the truth, that there are no shortcuts, and that hard work pays off. Then, write, write, write (especially for EJN).


Best advise for new researchers?

PhillKD

Paul: Get into a good lab. Make sure you have good support. Only do science to the highest of standards. Address good questions. Adhere the highest of exthical standards.


Hi guys! Thanks for doing this AMA.

I recently read this paper by Nosek, Spies, and Motyl- they propose a number of methods to increase transparency and incentivize good science and ethical behavior. One of those methods was providing peer reviewers with a checklist, because currently, it is essentially assumed that if you hold a PhD, you're qualified to participate in peer review. As a reviewer for a smaller journal, I found this particularly interesting and compelling. My question regards the initiative that you mention here about increasing the transparency of peer review. Does your initiative do anything similar to what I mentioned above? How exactly is your initiative pushing for transparency? What does this initiative entail?

I'm also interested in your views on pre-registration. It seems that few journals in the field have instituted a pre-registration process. Is this something the European Journal of Neuroscience would be interested in? If not, what are the drawbacks you foresee to this process?

Thanks for your time!

Austion66

Paul: At EJN we have introduced a transparent peer-review process. When a paper is published we attach as supplementary material, ALL de-anonimised reviewer documents including our letters. We believe this is the most direct and simplest method for transparency. As to having a checklist, we expect the reviewer, Section Editors and John & myself to be able to fairly assess a paper without a checklist. We have recently introduced Registered Reports to EJN, and yes this is something for the future and will no doubt, help with reproducibility.

In addition to the editorial John mentioned we have just published a blog about our experiences https://hub.wiley.com/community/exchanges/discover/blog/2017/09/13/transparent-review-at-the-european-journal-of-neuroscience-experiences-one-year-on?elq_mid=9422&elq_cid=781791


Hi guys! Thanks for doing this AMA.

I recently read this paper by Nosek, Spies, and Motyl- they propose a number of methods to increase transparency and incentivize good science and ethical behavior. One of those methods was providing peer reviewers with a checklist, because currently, it is essentially assumed that if you hold a PhD, you're qualified to participate in peer review. As a reviewer for a smaller journal, I found this particularly interesting and compelling. My question regards the initiative that you mention here about increasing the transparency of peer review. Does your initiative do anything similar to what I mentioned above? How exactly is your initiative pushing for transparency? What does this initiative entail?

I'm also interested in your views on pre-registration. It seems that few journals in the field have instituted a pre-registration process. Is this something the European Journal of Neuroscience would be interested in? If not, what are the drawbacks you foresee to this process?

Thanks for your time!

Austion66

John Foxe here: Paul and I recently wrote an editorial that details our approach to transparent review - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13541/epdf

We are convinced that this is an important step in the right direction. I really like the idea of providing a checklist to junior reviewers. On the other hand, now that you can read our entire review process for all of our papers, it is easy for a junior reviewer to study how the process works.


Hi guys! Thanks for doing this AMA.

I recently read this paper by Nosek, Spies, and Motyl- they propose a number of methods to increase transparency and incentivize good science and ethical behavior. One of those methods was providing peer reviewers with a checklist, because currently, it is essentially assumed that if you hold a PhD, you're qualified to participate in peer review. As a reviewer for a smaller journal, I found this particularly interesting and compelling. My question regards the initiative that you mention here about increasing the transparency of peer review. Does your initiative do anything similar to what I mentioned above? How exactly is your initiative pushing for transparency? What does this initiative entail?

I'm also interested in your views on pre-registration. It seems that few journals in the field have instituted a pre-registration process. Is this something the European Journal of Neuroscience would be interested in? If not, what are the drawbacks you foresee to this process?

Thanks for your time!

Austion66

John: We do indeed have registered reports at EJN and have been receiving a steady flow of new submissions -- see our editorial here - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13519/epdf


Neuroscience is lagging behind other biomedical fields for jobs. What key things need to happen so we start seeing more neuroscience jobs outside of academia?

Sybertron

John: Dear Sybertron, This has not been my experience. Although the number of academic jobs is admittedly limited, it is my observation that Neuroscience graduates find many other options available to them and that their training is generally highly applicable in multiple business and industrial settings.


We've seen in the states a surge in the use of music as a therapeutic treatment, how has music affected research on neurological disorders and developmental disabilities? What are maybe some of the connections you see, if any, between music and human biology/physiology?

awtisn

John: We have had a lot of good research on the neurophysiology of musical processing and appreciation at EJN in recent times. Here is a nice example - "Variations on the theme of musical expertise: cognitive and sensory processing in percussionists, vocalists and non-musicians." -- http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13535/abstract


@John and @Paul Do you think that there is some discrimination against nonnative English speakers in academic publishing? They have to pay for proofreading, language services, etc. Can a paper written in imperfect English be published & why can't global journals publish work that's not in English?

Yebs01211

Paul: This is a difficult one. There is no doubt, whether we like it or not, English is the language of science and if you want your work to be read globally then it must be in English.

Good English? I think we have to expect good English. Yes, I guess there may be discrimination on the financial side as it does cost to use language services. Get on to your institution!

Additionally, this is a good incentive to expand your professional networks to make contact with native English speaking colleagues and ask for their help.

EJN is always happy to work with authors to help navigate the process of publishing.


Why are mental illnesses like schizophrenia so poorly understood?

If the medical community understands that these illnesses are poorly understood, why do so many doctors project a naive confidence in their ability to treat them?

unsemble

John Foxe: Diseases like schizophrenia are incredibly complex and our ability to treat them reflects how much we still don’t understand about how the brain functions. We are learning more each day. It can take quite a bit of time to translate basic research into useful therapies. The doctors should be doing their best, and using the best treatments available to treat patients.


Thanks for doing this AMA!

I would like to know more about neuroplasticity; Specifically, what is the extent to which a brain can recover from an injury? Have you seen specific cases where a brain was able to function relatively normally after a serious injury?

jageur

John: This is a very broad question really. The human brain is incredibly plastic and it sometimes amazes me just how much injury it can tolerate, and how much recovery can be achieved after major insult. That said, obviously the outcomes can be very variable and the extent of a given lesion is a major determining factor. The other major contributor is age at the time of insult. The infant brain is extraordinarily plastic, and so even hemispherectomies for epilepsy are relatively well tolerated. There is extensive work going on to understand how recovery after stroke works, how to improve it, and what the nature of brain structural and functional changes are following insult. A recent paper in EJN provides a great example – “Changes in structure and perfusion of grey matter tissues during recovery from Ischaemic subcortical stroke: a longitudinal MRI study” - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13669/abstract


Dr. Bolam,

I was wondering if you can give a layman's explanation of what dysfunction is going on in the basal ganglia in regards to tourette's?

evidenceoveropinions

Paul: As you might guess, it is pretty complicated and we do not know the full answer. It seems that some of the critical pathology lies in a dysfunction in the neuronal circuits of the major division of the basal ganglia called the striatum. This region receives information from many other regions of the brain, processes it and then ‘selects’ (possibly) a behaviour. There seems to be something wrong with sub-populations of nerve cells in the striatum so that the processing of information goes wrong leading to the behaviours associated with Tourette’s


Which disciplines within neuroscience seem most promising to you in terms of discovery, application, and growth?

GrapeTheAmiableApe

Paul: I think that probably the most important fields in neuroscience are the neurological diseases of the aged e.g. Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, other dementias etc. We are all living longer and the proportion of the population that is aged and likely to have these disease is dramatically increasing. We need to understand them and have new symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies.


What do you look for in good accepted articles?

Are you currently seeking submissions, if so, on what topics?

PhillKD

Paul: In submitted articles, we look for a good scientific question that has been addressed in the most rigorous scientific manner. Accepted articles are those that have gone through the peer-review process and will fulfill those criteria. We always seek submissions in ANY field of neuroscience. We are about to put out a call for a Special Issue on Addiction and we have another issue coming out on Autism soon, one on neuronal oscillations and one on the basal ganglia. Here’s the Neural Oscillations Virtual Issue: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1460-9568/homepage/virtual_issue__neural_oscillations.htm


How did you end up being the Editors of an academic journal?!> What steps should a young researcher take to eventually end up an editor of a journal?

Yebs01211

Paul: Throughout my career, I have been involved in peer-review process, which I believe is one of the bed-rocks of the scientific method. I reviewed for many journals and was a section editor for another journal, Neuroscience. I eventually became a section editor for EJN. I guess, I did quite a good job, as the committee of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies invited me to be co-Editor. So I guess the answer is to contribute to the peer-review process and do it well.


How did you end up being the Editors of an academic journal?!> What steps should a young researcher take to eventually end up an editor of a journal?

Yebs01211

John: I've always felt that doing good thorough reviews was one of the key components of my scientific training, and so in my early career, I'd take on quite a few of them. It was really the way to hone your critical skills. Of course, editors like people who review well for them, and so when a post turns up on an editorial board, they are likely to look to their best reviewers for their next editorial board member. That's basically what happened to me. Bob Bilder (now at UCLA) was the Section Editor for Brain Imaging at Neuroreport in the early days of that journal, and I would regularly review for him. When he was ready to move on, he asked me to take over for him and I joined Giorgio Gabella (who was the Editor-in-Chief) as a Section Editor, where I learned how to do that job relatively well. I am very grateful to both Bob and Giorgio for that initial opportunity. After that, you get to build a reputation as a fair and efficient editor, and so I was asked to join a few other editorial boards. Martin Sarter (U. Mich) was editor-in-chief at EJN, and again, I was a regular reviewer for him and often published in EJN. So, he asked me to join EJN as a Section Editor, and I remember being so proud and excited about that. As an ex-Pat, being on the editorial board of EJN really meant a huge amount to me, giving me a connection to back home. Then, when Martin and Jean-Marc Fritschy (Zurich) stepped down, Paul and I were promoted to editors-in-chief. Frankly, it was one of the proudest days of my entire career. We are both hugely committed to the philosophy of this great society-led journal.


What is the turnaround between a paper's acceptance and the article appearing online and then in print?

neurogradstvdent

Paul: A matter of days after acceptance it will be online! (we are one of the fastest in neuroscience). The paper will then usually be published in a couple of months.


What are some challenges that you think academic publishing is facing? What about neuroscience publishing in particular?

stubearr

Paul: The introduction of new online journals which happens almost daily; the competition between society-owned journals (that put the profit back into science) have with purely commercial journals; impact factors; ethical issues. Neuroscience is an exploding field, trying to keep up with everything that is going on is difficult.


Thanks for doing this AMA. I have a lot of questions and I hope you choose to answer some of them today at lunch! Is open access the future of publishing....do you think your journal will be open access in the future?

PhillKD

John: Phil, we already have Open Access papers. Our authors can either publish with the traditional model or choose to publish Open Access. As such, we are a "hybrid" journal. Many authors do indeed choose to go the Open Access route.


What’s been your favorite issue of EJN to publish?

Least favorite?

What’s the best part of the publishing process?

Which issue was the most influential in the field, why?

PhillKD

Paul: Favorite/influential issue: The Dopamine Special Issue! This issue is in celebration of the 90th birthday of Oleh Hornykiewicz and it’s been great to see the final result. It’s also one of our most highly downloaded issues: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.2017.45.issue-1/issuetoc Least favorite issue: Any issue with the old cover design! Best part of publishing: Seeing it get published.


What’s been your favorite issue of EJN to publish?

Least favorite?

What’s the best part of the publishing process?

Which issue was the most influential in the field, why?

PhillKD

John: I was part of team that edited a special issue of EJN on Multisensory Processing back in 2010, long before I became EJN editor -- I'm very proud of that issue and there are some superb papers in there that have had a big influence on the field - you can see it here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.2010.31.issue-10/issuetoc


Thanks for giving us such an opportunity and sorry for asking so many questions!

What are the basic requirements for people to publish in your Journal?

How will you define consciousness?

Do you think an AI will be able perforn as well as the human brian?

What are some of the current mysteries of the human brain?

When and why did you become interested in Neuroscience?

What are your favorite articles in your journal?

How different are peoples brain from one another? And how does it differ from people with mental illnesses?

superboyk

John Foxe: I'll answer your first question - To publish in EJN, it's really quite simple -- you need a good solid piece of science that will "advance our understanding of the nervous system in health and disease, thereby improving the diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Papers should present novel results that can be of interest to a broad spectrum of neuroscientists and that were generated by experiments guided by clearly defined aims or hypotheses."


Hi there! Can you point to any research that had been done on cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy?

onelovedg

Paul: EJN hasn't published anything on the topic recently, so I think PubMed is the best place to look!


Hi there! Can you point to any research that had been done on cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy?

onelovedg

John: Here's a link to the Epilepsy Foundation that might provide some useful information for you - Cannabis and epilepsy http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/other-treatment-approaches/medical-marijuana-and-epilepsy


Hello, I am just a lay person. I'm no scientist by any measure though I do dabble a lot in amateur physics, and I've read what Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins had to say about the nature of consciousness. As I understand it we still have no clue what Consciousness is exactly but what I want to know is if current understanding of the anatomy Construction and processes of the brain suggests that Consciousness could rise in systems other than brains? Such as computers or non biological systems. The compartmentalization of the various systems within the brain suggests that Consciousness is the interaction between such systems rather than any part of that system by itself. Could reverse engineering of the brain lead to artificial intelligences giving rise to actual consciences?

XenoDrake

John: I'm going to have to punt on this one XenoDrake. As Dawkins rightly says, we really have no idea at this point.


As a neurobiologist graduate student who is currently working on his first manuscript, what are some of the major pitfalls or points that make or break a paper?

Are there things editors look for when selecting papers that set them apart from others?

squachy00

Good work, well explained, clearly articulated, properly powered, and nicely presented will win out! Here is a good resource for preparing a paper -- 11 steps to structuring a science paper editors will take seriously - https://www.elsevier.com/connect/11-steps-to-structuring-a-science-paper-editors-will-take-seriously


What's your opinion on nootropics? Do you think there are any nootropics or anything else that has been found to help people with weak memory/recall?

Katherine911

Paul: I know of no scientific evidence that they work.


[deleted]

[deleted]

Neither Paul or I are clinicians. We are both basic scientists, so we cannot comment, nor are we qualified to, on clinical issues such as this. We wish you the best of luck in dealing with this and would encourage you strongly to work closely with your physician, who will be in a much better position to help you manage this.


How viable is it to have my undergraduate dissertation published?

PhillKD

Paul: Mmm! We sometimes get submissions that are clearly undergraduate or MSc dissertations. However, for reviews we expect the author to have worked in the field so that he/she has a real insight into the field. For research projects, check with your supervisor. If it is good science, we will consider it.


Is a journals impact factor still important? It seems a bit outdated to me. What are other ways that you think we should judge the quality of a journal?

Yebs01211

Paul: Impact factors are a poison in science. A number of metrics are available to assess a journal or your paper - no single one can tell the whole story. The IF is just one metric that holds value (be it in an individual’s decision making process, evaluation too etc) but one should consider others when submitting to a journal and their own objectives (readership, scope fit, audience etc). Unfortunately, instutions often use IF as a measure of quality of the paper. We need to stress a every opportunity what a blunt tool this is.


[deleted]

[deleted]

Neither Paul or I are clinicians. We are both basic scientists, so we cannot comment, nor are we qualified to, on clinical issues such as this. We wish you the best of luck in dealing with this and would encourage you strongly to work closely with your physician, who will be in a much better position to help you manage this.


What research/finding/article that you were invovled in are you most proud of?

PhillKD

John: This is a nearly impossible question for me Phil. If I was forced to pick one of my lab's papers, perhaps I'd point to the following, where we showed that early visual processing deficits were linked to the genetic risk for schizophrenia (i.e. an endophenotype) - http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/668232


What research/finding/article that you were invovled in are you most proud of?

PhillKD

Paul: Again, a difficult question! I think that there is no single finding or article that I am most proud of. What I am proud of is the body of work that I have produced over the years, together with excellent students and colleagues, that has contributed to our understanding of the organisation and function of the basal ganglia. Our work has influenced others in the field, provided a basis for the work of others and provided a baseline in the normal brain to understand what goes wrong in disease.


[deleted]

[deleted]

John: Dear RomeoDog3d, Neither Paul or I are clinicians. We are both basic scientists, so we cannot comment, nor are we qualified to, on your issues. We wish you the best of luck in dealing with this and encourage you strongly to continue to work closely with your physician. Warm Wishes, John


How do you deal with other scientists not "sharing." I'm doing research for a small molecular paper but unbeknownst to me I have encroached on someone else's work. They have already aligned ITS regions of this fungus but I started with RPB2 which is what he wants to use as a secondary search criteria. I've spent months and have no positive control of Fusarium (I don't know how to italicize on mobile) to test my barcodes, even after offering coauthorship and saying he can have it all once I'm done.

allycatastrophie

John: We are fully supportive of open sharing of data, code, materials etc. The point is for the field to move forward as quickly and effectively as possible, and sharing is a key component of this. It is very unfortunate that your colleague is not being helpful to you in this regard. Is there no other source that you could pursue, perhaps a colleague at another institution?


I'm interested in your professional opinions about the disease model as it applies to addiction. I've got a PsyD in clinical psych & am a CSAC (cert sub abuse counselor). I've read opinions from professionals that are vastly different. Most of the masters level professionals in clinical wk seem to embrace the disease model & will specify that it's partly due to the social stigma attached to substance abuse. However, nearly every person with a PhD or similar I've spoken with or read on say that it's NOT a disease but a dysfunction of impulse control.

What are your thoughts as the disease model pertains to diagnosis & treatment of substance abuse? Thx

l84ad82cu

Most neuroscientists do support the idea that addiction is a disease. Why do some people become addicted when they take drugs and others don’t? Why do some people get sick when exposed to a virus and others don’t? It is also important to remember that some of the neural circuits that control impulse control are the same circuits that are affected by drugs. Taking the drugs can cause changes in these circuits, which would then lead to changes in behavior. By the way, we are about to launch a special issue on Addiction at EJN -- stay tuned!


I am considering getting my PhD in Neuroscience. What are my career options other than academia?

Blur202claw659

John: Many Neuroscience graduates have been going into human factors work with the big companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. I've also noticed that big data-mining companies have been scooping up our Neuro PhDs since many of them gain superb data processing, signal analysis, and statistical modelling skills en route to their degrees.


I am considering getting my PhD in Neuroscience. What are my career options other than academia?

Blur202claw659

Paul: First of all, a PhD in neuroscience will be incredibly rewarding, whether you work in the field after graduating or not. Of people who have gone through my lab, in addition to those who have stayed in academia, some have gone into the following fields: school teacher, scientific journalism (scientific correspondents); working for grant-giving bodies, scientific publishing, pharmaceutical industry, hospital management, back to being a clinician, working in a patent office Gaining a PhD is an education in itself and provides a basis for many fields.


I am considering getting my PhD in Neuroscience. What are my career options other than academia?

Blur202claw659

John: Neuroscience is such a wide and encompassing field, the opportunities for work after your thesis are fairly broad. In addition to conducting science for government or industry, there may be many jobs involved in trying to apply and communicate all of the incredible advance being made in neuroscience. Also demonstrating that you have the skills and self-discipline to complete a Ph.D. may help you in any field. Although not published in EJN, here is an interesting article on Neuroscience Training https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27253446


Hi Dr. Foxe! What a coincidence- I was in the audience at LSI yesterday during your presentation on audiovisual processing in autism. I really enjoyed your talk so thank you for that!

My question is, are there any cultural differences in the publishing process that you've experienced between US and Europe?

4gotmyusernameagain1

John Foxe: Well, thanks so much for attending my talk. That's a tough question. So, the first thought I have is that most scientists in the field will send their papers to journals based in both the US and Europe (and of course, other countries), so I don't think most of us think too much about differences in the home nation of the journal. I do think that we have noticed an unhealthy focus on journal "impact factor" in some of the European countries, where it is used as a metric in performance evaluations and promotion decisions. Both Paul and I feel very strongly that this is a very destructive force in our field and should be jettisoned immediately. Papers should be judged on their own merits, based on the impact that they have, rather than the supposed impact of the journal. Much has been written about how bad a measure the impact factor is -- see here for example http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/07/hate-journal-impact-factors-new-study-gives-you-one-more-reason


Pineapple on pizza or no?

drchopsalot

Definitely!


How do editors choose reviewers for my paper?

Will your journal tell me the names of the researchers who reviewed my paper?

PhillKD

John Foxe here: Paul and I, as editors-in-chief, assign papers to our Section Editors based on whose expertise are most appropriate for the topic of the paper. The SEs then choose reviewers, based on their knowledge of the field and on their experience of who writes good thorough and fair reviews. As you can read in our recent editorial, EJN has moved to a transparent review policy, so in almost all cases of when your paper is published, you will ultimately find out who reviewed your paper - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13541/epdf


I'm a MsC Economics student, and I'd like to pursue a PhD in Neuroeconomics. There is a lot of debate in the field: how reliable are neuroscientific data in producing reliable results? Are we making progress in this sense (like switching from 1.5 T to 3.0 T)?

Thanks for your time!

UlibraU

John Foxe: There has been a fair amount of soul searching in the field of late because it has been recognized that many studies tend to be under-powered. So, we really emphasize the need for sufficient quantities of data to adequately power a study at EJN (we always have). Our introduction of pre-registration of studies (i.e. registered reports) also moves to ameliorate this issue - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13519/epdf The key point is that a properly designed study should lead to reliable results.

On the issue of 1.5T versus 3T MRI scanners, obviously the increased SNR provided by the higher field instrument provides the researcher with a more powerful tool to detect potential effects. Nonetheless, 1.5T machines have produced some of our most important findings and again, if the study is properly designed so that sufficient data are collected to adequately power the study, a 1.5T machine can still be used to great effect (pun intended).


What does the future of neuroscience look like?

stubearr

John: It looks terrific :-)


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