About

My name is Sam Schwarzkopf and I am a cognitive and systems neuroscientist. My main research interest is how our subjective perceptual experience arises within the brain. As such I am also interested in the variability between individuals both with regard to their brain structure and function on the one hand, and their unique perceptual experience, their behaviour, and their personality on the other. A lot of these questions are of course still very far-fetched. My background is in neuroscience and biological sciences and I try to approach questions in cognitive neuroscience from that perspective. Please visit my lab website for more information.

On this blog I will discuss some particular results in neuroscience and psychology research but also write in more general terms about how the way we do science could be improved. You may also follow my random thoughts on Twitter. Recently, I have also begun a page to collect particularly fine examples of Academia Spam.

Why neuroneurotic? Well, if you knew me you wouldn’t ask that question… It has also come to my attention that there are some other neuroneurotics on the internet. Hardly surprising but that can’t be helped. They are other people.

Korea

 

 

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Cool man! Just read your piece about (non-)repeatability in soft sciences, and it really struck a chord with me. I’ve been on a similar wavelength for a while about the limited value of much lab-based experimental psychology, but I’m a musician not a scientist, so it can be a struggle to get my more qualified friends onside…

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    1. Ooops, I didn’t realise one could still comment here. I thought I had turned all comments off. If you wish to contact me, I recommend email for private correspondence or Twitter for public (although I’ll be slower to respond on there outside of work hours). But anyway, since you did comment here I will respond here as well.

      I wouldn’t say that lab-based experimental psychology has limited value. There is a broad range to experimental psychology (in fact, most of my own behavioural research probably falls under that category). Psychophysics certainly has produced invaluable evidence using lab-based experiments and I think personality or social psychology experiments can yield important insights in lab experiments.

      My point is really that the more complex a behaviour, the more complex the factors it entails. Saying whether a grating is tilted to the left or the right is pretty basic and so psychophysical experiments are probably fairly easy to interpret, certainly compared to experiments investigating social interactions between living, thinking agents or even just the speed with which people walk out of the lab. That in no way means that experiments on such questions are impossible or that they cannot produce useful insights. But we need to consider the complexity of a variable we want to study instead of treating them all just as “effect sizes”.

      Of course, I agree that lab environments may not always reflect real-world conditions very well and so there can also be value in conducting studies in the field. But the point of many experiments is to set up a controlled environment and this empirical reductionism is often necessary. It is true that sometimes this may skew the environment so much that the outcome may only be a poor reflection of the real-world effects – but that is an empirical question itself.

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