Minimizing Bias in Experimental Design and Execution

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Investigations into the lack of reproducibility in preclinical research often identify unintended biases in experimental planning and execution. This webinar – the second in SfN's series Promoting Awareness and Knowledge to Enhance Scientific Rigor in Neuroscience – will cover random sampling, blinding, and balancing experiments to avoid sources of bias.

Webinar attendees will leave the session understanding:

  • Different sources of bias and how they can influence experimental design, data collection, and reporting
  • Best practices for minimizing bias in experimental procedures, including: blinding; systematic random sampling; inclusion of positive and negative controls; and methods of quality control for reliability and reproducibility
  • How biases can affect rigorous implementation of the scientific method and considerations for unbiased hypothesis testing

This training module is supported by Grant Number 1R25DA041326-01 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The original contents of this module are solely the responsibility of SfN and do not necessarily reflect the official views of NIDA.

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    Supporting Materials

    Pre-webinar Information

    Before the webinar gets started, read these articles chosen by the moderator for useful background knowledge:

     

    Post-webinar Information

    Get the most out of this webinar by downloading these discussion questions to use with your students or peers.

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    Speakers

    John Morrison
    John Morrison, PhD
    John Morrison is the Director of the California National Primate Research Center and Professor of Neurology at the School of Medicine at UC Davis. His research focuses on age-related neurodegenerative diseases as well as in the memory impairments that often occur during normal aging.

    Deeply committed to the public communication of neuroscience, Dr. Morrison was a member of the BrainFacts.org Advisory Board, which helped guide the development of BrainFacts.org from its inception, prior to becoming Editor-in-Chief. Throughout his career, he has also been committed to training the next generation of scientists, both at the individual and programmatic level.
    Christophe Bernard
    Christophe Bernard, PhD
    Christophe Bernard is the PhysioNet team leader in at the Institute of Neuroscience Systems at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). His research focuses on understanding how physiological and pathological behaviors emerge from the organization and reorganization of the underlying neuronal architecture, with an emphasis on epilepsy. He currently serves as the inaugural editor-in-chief of eNeuro, SfN’s open-access, online, scientific journal, which is committed to rigorous scientific practices, including publishing negative results and studies that fail to reproduce prior work, as well as transparent manuscript review processes.
    Patrick Hof
    Patrick Hof, MD
    Dr. Patrick Hof is the Irving and Dorothy Regenstreif Research Professor of Neuroscience and the vice chair of the Fishberg Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. He studies the selective neuronal vulnerability in dementing illness and aging and uses quantitative, high-resolution, morphologic methods to determine the cellular features that render the human brain uniquely vulnerable to degenerative disorders. Hof’s laboratory has established an international reputation in quantitative approaches to neuroanatomy and studies of brain evolution, and he currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Comparative Neurology.

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