Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Repost: Why Blogs Fail

Pictured: One of the reasons why blogs fail

Blogger Neuroskeptic recently wrote a post about why blogs fail, observing what divides successful from unsuccessful blogs, and why the less successful ones ultimately stop generating new content or disappear altogether. Reading this made me reflect on why I started this in the first place; initially it was to write down, in blog-form, what I saw and heard at an AFNI workshop earlier this spring. Since then, I tried to give it a more coherent theme, by touching upon some fMRI methodology topics that don't get as much attention as they deserve, and creating a few walkthroughs to help new students in the field get off the ground, as there isn't much out there in the way of interactive videos showing you how to analyze stuff.

Analyzing stuff, in my experience, can be one of the most intimidating and paralyzing experiences of a graduate student's career; not because of laziness or incompetence, but because it is difficult to know where to start. Some of the obstacles that hinder the analysis of stuff (e.g., common mistakes involving experiment timing, artifacts that can propagate through an entire data set, not having a method for solving and debugging scripting errors) do not need to be repeated by each generation, and my main objective is to point out where these things can happen, and what to do about them. Of course, this blog contains other topics related to my hobbies, but overall, the theme of how to analyze stuff predominates.

In light of all of this, here is my pact with my readers: This blog will be updated at least once a week (barring any extreme circumstances, such as family emergencies, religious observations, or hospitalization from Nutella overdose); new materials, such as walkthroughs, programs, and instructional videos, will be generated on a regular basis; and I will respond to any (serious) questions posted in the comments section. After all, the reason I take any time out of my busy, Nutella-filled day to write any of this content is because I find it interesting and useful, and hope that somebody else will, too.


  1. Thank you for your blog!
    I'm trying to do some analysis with FSL. I already did DICOM to nifti, BET and first-level. Now I'm trying to do second level. But FSL complaints that: "Registration has not been run for all of the FEAT directories that you have selected for group analysis. Please turn on and setup registration." I thought I did registration in first level. Is this not always the case? What mistake could I have made? Or do I have to make a registration in second-level? If so, where?
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Pia,

      You should be able to check whether any registration was done by looking in the .feat directory for your processed subject, and seeing whether a folder called "reg" has been created. If it hasn't, I would rerun the registration for those subjects.

      You can just do the registration by opening up the FEAT interface, then clicking on the "Full Analysis" tab and selecting "Registration only".

      Hope this helps!


  2. Thank you!!
    There was just one participant for whom something went wrong and the "reg" folder was not there.
    Now it's working!

  3. Hi Andy, I have got the same problem as Pia and have checked that all of the input FEAT directories have a reg folder and they are all present. Is there any other reason why this error would occur?

    Thanks in advance!