#Barbarplots, improving science through digital communication
A group of young researchers from the DEC has started a “plotting revolution” by harnessing the power of digital communication.
It all started with a blog post by Page Piccinini, postdoc at the NeuroPsychologie Interventionelle (NPI) team at the DEC.
Page Piccinini is a bilingualism specialist (in fact she spent a year working at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique before her arrival at the NPI) and is also an expert in statistics and data processing. It is in that capacity that she recently gave a series of courses at the DEC on the use of the statistical program R. Very quickly, questions arose about bar plots and Page decided to respond by writing a post on her blog to discuss the specific limits of bar plots and to present alternatives. The post is summed up in a figure entitled “Friends don’t let friends make bar plots”.
Indeed, data visualization is a recurrent problem in all domains of data-driven science. Despite the existence of a plethora of data visualization possibilities, there is an over-prevalence of bar plots. Given that bar plots reveal precious little about the distribution of data, this type of visualization can be misleading.
The reaction was immediate: her post was retweeted over 200 times in only a few days and provoked a number of responses. The retweets even included the Journal of Neuroscience. Members of the scientific community responded asking for the creation of a t-shirt with Page’s now famous figure.
Thus was born the #barbarplots project. The project’s goal is to communicate about the limitations of bar plots and the necessity of clear and complete data visualization.
The idea is to print t-shirts with Page Piccinini’s figure and send them to the editors of scientific journals, who will then be asked to post a photo of themselves wearing the t-shirt on social media sites to spread the word and mediatize the problem within the scientific community.
A funding project has been started on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, accompanied by a fun video Kickstarter, featuring Page and her colleagues Christina Bergmann, Julia Carbajal, Alexander Martin, Rory Turnbull, and Sho Tsuji who jointly started the project. Anyone who wants to support the movement can get their own t-shirt and/or sticker by clicking here and making a pledge.
#barbarplots is part of a larger project to encourage the diffusion and sharing of knowledge and know-how, made in large part possible by social media platforms. This group of postdocs and PhD students are also working on a “style guide” for cognitive science, a collaborative project aimed at the global scientific community and which will be, eventually, both maintained and augmented by the community at large.
Round table Cognitive Science and Cinema
The video recording of the round table "Cognitive Science and Cinema" that took place at ENS on May 2d is available on Scalp!'s website.
- Carole Desbarats, film critic, director of studies at La Fémis between 1996 and 2009
- Camille Lugan, director, screen-writer and programmer
- Jérôme Pelletier, philosopher of fiction
- Clément Safra, author and director
- Enrico Terrone, philosopher of cinema
Forgeot d’Arc B., Delorme R., Zalla T., Lefebvre A., Amsellem F., Moukawane S., Letellier L., Leboyer M., Mouren MC; Ramus F., (2016) Gaze Direction Detection in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autism; Apr 30. pii: 1362361316630880
Detecting where our partners direct their gaze is an important aspect of social interaction. An atypical gaze processing has been reported in autism. However, it remains controversial whether children and adults with autism spectrum disorder interpret indirect gaze direction with typical accuracy. This study investigated whether the detection of gaze direction toward an object is less accurate in autism spectrum disorder. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (n = 33) and intelligence quotients-matched and age-matched controls (n = 38) were asked to watch a series of synthetic faces looking at objects, and decide which of two objects was looked at. The angle formed by the two possible targets and the face varied following an adaptive procedure, in order to determine individual thresholds. We found that gaze direction detection was less accurate in autism spectrum disorder than in control participants. Our results suggest that the precision of gaze following may be one of the altered processes underlying social interaction difficulties in autism spectrum disorder.
Zalla T., Sperduti M., Girardi G., Leboyer M., Bourgeois-Gironde S., (2016) Reduced Social Coordination in Autism Spectrum Disorders,
Research in autism spectrum disorders. 26, 71–79.
In the present study, we investigated whether individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) were able to coordinate with an unknown partner on the same outcome using a two-person pure coordination game. Twenty-one adults with ASD and twenty-one typically developed (TD) control participants were presented with sets of four items, and were asked to choose one of these items under three conditions: picking one’s own personal preferred item, guessing what might be the partner’s preference, and choosing an item in order to coordinate with the partner’s choice. Each set included a salient item that stood out for its distinctive properties, known as the focal point. The results showed that individuals with ASD choose more often their preferred items than the salient cues to coordinate with others and to guess the partner's preference, as compared to TD controls. Performance for coordination was related to clinical scores assessing difficulties in communication and the severity of the autistic traits, but was unrelated to verbal intelligence and verbally mediated Theory-of-Mind task. These findings suggest that self-bias processes in decision-making might be a source of impairment in social coordination and interaction in ASD.
May 20, 2016
IJN colloquium - Sara Bernstein (Duke Univ.): "Causal Proportions and Moral Responsibility"
20, 24, 27 mai 2016
Jean-Nicod Lectures and Prize - Professeur Patrick HAGGARD (University College London) : "Volition, agency, responsability: cognitive mechanisms of human action"
May 21, 2016
May 23, 2016
Talk (IJN) - Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers Univ., EHESS): "McTaggart and the A-theory–B-theory Distinction"
May 23, 2016
Compas seminar (IJN) - Roberto Casati (IJN): "Knowledge tools: Cognitive artefacs in education"
May 24, 2016
PaCS seminar (IJN) - Elijah Chudnoff (University of Miami): "Evaluative Perception and Intuition"
May 24, 2016
May 25, 2016
Mind & Language seminar - Eliot Michaelson (King's College London): "Towards a Grand Unified Theory of Reference"
May 25-27, 2016
May 26, 2016
DRI seminar - Xiangyu Qu (Lemma, Université Paris-II)
May 27, 2016
May 30, 2016
May 30, 2016
May 31, 2016
May 31 - June 1st, 2016
DEC calendar cognition.ens.fr.
DEC Colloquium: http://www.cognition.ens.fr/ColloquiumAgendaENG.html.
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