Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Scienticians write real good

When I read a paper from a laboratory in Japan or Korea, I'm a little forgiving of grammatical mistakes. On the other hand, people working in America in general, and Texas in particular, should be able to mind their p's and q's. Tianming Yang and John H. R. Maunsell (of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas) have committed an especially grievous assault on the English language in their 2004 J. Neuroscience paper, "The effect of perceptual learning on neuronal responses in monkey visual area V4." Consider the following quotes (italics added):

"For two animals (monkeys 1 and 3), we interleaved blocks of trials in which the animals did the orientation discrimination task and with blocks of trials in which they worked on a simple match-to-sample task ..."

"The Fano factor is the ratio of the variance in the number of spikes counts to the mean number of spike counts across stimulus presentations."

"Based our sample populations, we calculated the performance of the V4 neurons for discriminating orientations close to 45 degrees."

Doesn't anyone proof-read this crap before it's published?!?

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