Something a bit different: maintaining memories

I’m wondering off the topic of the New Statistics today just to mention that my lab has published a new paper that characterizes the the changes in gene expression that accompany storing and maintaining a new long-term memory  (Conte et al., 2017) .  This is my main research passion, and this paper is a big milestone for my lab, as we push to develop a comprehensive understanding of how transcription supports the encoding, maintenance, and subsequent decay of long-term memory.

There is a bit of a New Stats angle here.  For one, we of course used the estimation approach throughout (though, yes, we also reported p values).  More importantly, though, because of the New Statistics we have really improved our entire scientific process: we optimized our protocol to maximize effect size, ran much larger studies to obtain more informative estimates, sought direct replication in independent samples, pre-registered our sample-size and analysis plans, and shared all our data and processing scripts.  It is seeing what a big difference these practices have made within my own lab that make me believe so strongly in spreading the New Stats and Open Science more broadly across the life and behavioral sciences.  Onward!


Conte, C., Herdegen, S., Kamal, S., Patel, J., Patel, U., Perez, L., … Calin-Jageman, I. (2017). Transcriptional correlates of memory maintenance following long-term sensitization of Aplysia californica. Learning and Memory, 24, 502–515. [Source]

I'm a teacher, researcher, and gadfly of neuroscience. My research interests are in the neural basis of learning and memory, the history of neuroscience, computational neuroscience, bibliometrics, and the philosophy of science. I teach courses in neuroscience, statistics, research methods, learning and memory, and happiness. In my spare time I'm usually tinkering with computers, writing programs, or playing ice hockey.

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