Some choice titles from the latter half of this calendar year:
“Metabolomics as a Tool for Discovery of Biomarkers of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Blood Plasma of Children.”
My commentary: GO TO FAIL. Go directly to fail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. On a list of “places it makes sense to look for ‘markers’ of autism,” I believe “the blood plasma of children” only ever cracks the top five when the list is written by an actual vampire.
“Hyper-Theory-Of-Mind in Children with Psychotic Experiences.”
My commentary: I’m not laughing at you. I swear. Really. Not even laughing at all. Well. Maybe giggling. Just a little bit. Okay a lot. Maybe more than giggling? Yeah, okay, I’m laughing at you.
“Resveratrol prevents social deficits in animal model of autism induced by valproic acid.”
My commentary: The best part about this paper is its use of something called “The Three-Chamber Sociability Test.” The second best part about this paper is that its animal model is the rat. The sociability test involves three cages: a central, empty, neutral chamber, and two other adjacent chambers, one of which contains an empty cage, and the other of which contains a cage with a rat-stranger inside. The subject rats are determined to be typically sociable if they spend more time in the chamber with the rat-stranger’s cage than they do in the chamber with the empty cage. This does not make sense to me: 1. All the bitchy internet introvert discussion forums would like to collectively object to any test that labels rats “anti-social” simply because they don’t like hanging out with a male stranger more than they like hanging out by themselves. 2. When you’re a human in a system of enforced/monitored cages, and you’re given the choice between sharing a room with a strange dude, and having your own room, you want your own damn room.
Don’t ask me about my feelings about valproic acid. Don’t.
“Autism spectrum disorders: from genotypes to phenotypes.”
My commentary: There’s a saying about carts and horses that I could quote here, but I’ve decided not to.
Plus two titles from general neuroscience that I found briefly entertaining:
“Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence among older adults.”
My commentary: Whoever came up with the word “exergaming” needs to fucking cool it with the portmanteaus. What a deeply, deeply unnecessary word.
“Your body, my body, our coupling moves our bodies.”
My commentary: Another for my collection of “Sometimes scientists try and be creative, and the results are deeply disturbing.” Said collection also contains classics such as: “‘Some like it hot’: spectators who score high on the personality trait openness enjoy the excitement of hearing dancers breathing without music.”