|Neuroscience 500F-501S (Psychology 500F-501S)
|Faculty Supervisor:||Jeremy I. Skipper|
|Science Center 3064 and 3028
Senior projects involve supervised research on a specific problem in neuroscience pertaining to Language, Action, and Brain. Your grade will be based on independent scholarship and research (see General Expectations below), completion of Weekly Participation tasks, and, primarily, your Thesis and Oral Presentation.
You should be putting in a minimum of 15 hours per week.
- You will isolate an appropriate question, perform a literature review (i.e., reading), and do an accompanying meta-analysis of brain activity on existing experiments related to that question. You will write these up as the Introduction to your Thesis.
- You will also devise a behavioral (e.g., using eye or mouse tracking methodologies) and/or EEG experiment and/or analyze previously collected fMRI data to address this question. You will write these up as the Methods section of your Thesis.
- You will begin collecting data.
- Late September: Overview of the topic and Annotated Bibliography - first draft. "Annotated" means that each reference should include a statement as to how that article is relevant to your project. Oral presentations in lab meeting.
- Late October: Review of the literature – second draft. Oral presentations in lab meeting. Meta-analysis. Collect Data.
- Late November: Full draft of Introduction and Methods. Oral presentations in lab meeting (if you are not doing a one-semester project). Collect Data.
- Early December: Public Presentations for Fall one-semester projects. Collect Data.
- Last day of classes: "Final" Introduction and Methods, incorporating revision of all the above due by 4 pm.
- You will finish acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting data and write these up as the Results and Discussion sections of your Thesis.
- You will complete your Thesis and give your Oral Presentation.
- Late January: Continue writing. Oral presentations in lab meeting. Collect and Analyze Data.
- Late February: Thesis first draft - Introduction, Methods, and Results. Oral presentations in lab meeting. Collect and Analyze Data.
- Late March: Thesis second draft - Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Oral presentations in lab meeting. Collect and Analyze Data.
- Late April: Thesis full draft - Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Oral presentations in lab meeting.
- Last day of classes: Final Theses, incorporating revision of all the above due by 4 pm.
General Expectations (20%)
- Good organization
- Independently generated progress
- Problem solving
- Anticipation of problems
- Creative insight
- Logical thinking
- 15 hours per week x 14 weeks = 210 hours per semester. Lets be honest though. You will likely be putting in much more effort than this. Especially if you want to present your work at a conference or, god forbid, publish your research. See below.
- Depth of understanding of your project; growth through the year
- Clear writing
- Thorough command of the literature
- High quality of presentations in lab meetings
- Selection of articles
- Insightful interpretation of what is presented
- Discussion/questions/suggestions of what others present
- Drafts of sections of thesis
- Good lab notes
- Cooperation with other lab members
- Attendance and enthusiasm
Weekly Participation (20%)
Every week on the day before our weekly lab meeting you will email me a document (.doc or .odt but not .docx format; alternately you can use google docs) and a PDF. The word document will contain a draft of your Theses and an Annotated Bibliography (alternately, I recommend you use Mendeley for the annotated bibliography). Track changes should always be left on so that I can see what you changed from the previous week and when you changed it. The PDF will be the research article that you present during the lab meeting on the following day. Here are the specifics:
- The document will contain a draft of your thesis. I expect to see some progress each week even if it is not your best writing (e.g., an abstract, outline, etc). I recommend you try and complete two pages of writing per week (some of which, obviously, you will not use). You can leave place holders for things you will complete later.
- Each week you should add a minimum of three new articles that you have actually read with annotations to the Annotated Bibliography. The annotations for each article should state how it relates to your specific topic/hypotheses not, e.g., "This article is relevant because it is about XXX and the brain."
- In addition, each week you should add a minimum of two new articles to the Annotated Bibliography that you find in your article hunts that you feel are relevant but that you have not yet read but might. In the latter cases, include the abstract so I can see for myself why the articles might be relevant. That is a total of a minimum of five new references to be added to the Annotated Bibliography each week.
- The PDF you email me will be one of the three new articles that you have read and have included in the Annotated Bibliography. The article must be a peer reviewed journal article (i.e., from a respected refereed journal) in which at least one experiment was conducted. You must have read the entire article. You will also email the article to others attending lab meeting.
- During lab meetings we will all discuss your thesis progress and research article. In particular, you will describe your progress and how that progress relates to your project as a whole. You will then describe the experiment/s in the PDF and how they relate to your project. We will then discuss the article as a group, time permitting. If applicable, we will also be discussing progress on the experimental and specific technical aspects of your projects. For example, we might go over how to perform a particular analysis. If that analysis is to be accompanied by an article that describes the analysis, you will be expected to have read the entire article and be able to discuss it during the meeting.
- We will have individual meetings on an ad hoc basis to discuss your projects in gruesome detail.
For each of the below bullet points you will get a check minus (meaning you did not do the task), check, or check plus each week. You cannot receive a check plus if the assignment is late or incomplete. These grades will count toward your final grade.
- Sending me a draft of your Thesis.
- Sending me the Annotated Bibliography with five new additions.
- Sending me (and your peers) the PDF of a peer reviewed journal article.
- Discussion of this article and your project during lab meeting.
- Your thesis must be organized in APA format with Abstract (5%), Introduction (30%), Methods (30%), Results (30%), and References (5%) sections.
- The Introduction of your Theses will contain a meta-analysis or meta-analyses (5% of the Introduction):
- Must be centered around specific hypotheses pertaining to your project and not, e.g., general questions like "what areas are involved in language." That is not to say you can't include a general meta-analysis in addition to your more specific meta-analysis if you find it helpful.
- You must include the Sleuth search text files that corresponds to your final meta-analyses (the one that is entered into GingerALE) as Supplementary Material to your paper. You must also include ALL of the search terms for the meta-analysis and the specific experiments from each paper and/or specific conditions somewhere in the paper. This is so that the analysis can be replicated if need be. Note that some or all of this might be in the Sleuth text file so you should check.
- You must include the references of the experiments used in your meta-analysis as a table in your thesis.
- Any figures and coordinate tables pertaining to the meta-analysis should be displayed in your .doc files in line.
- Note that authorship at conferences or on publications requires: 1) Scientific responsibility; 2) Professional command of the study; and 3) A role beyond that of a research assistant.
Oral Presentation (10%)
- You will present your research publicly.
- You will receive extra brownie points if you present said research in a pink tutu.