Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mine's Bigger: Connectivity Analysis Uses Sample Size of 439 Subjects

The next time you look at your dwindling scanning budget and realize you need to start coming in at 9:00pm on Fridays to pay a reduced scanning rate, just remember that there are other researchers out there who scan hundreds of subjects for a single study. (This isn't supposed to make you feel better; it's just a fact.)

A recent connectivity analysis by Dennis and colleagues recruited four hundred and thirty-nine subjects for a cross-sectional study to determine changes in connectivity from the ages of twelve to thirty. Overall, older participants showed decreasing long-range connectivity between regions, increased modularity (a measure of subdivision within regions), and hemispheric differences in global efficiency, consistent with developmental theories that short-range connections are pruned during adolescence while long-range connections are strengthened.

However, the observed hemispheric differences in global efficiency contrasted with previous findings:
Our results are contrary to those of Iturria-Medina et al. (2011), who found greater global efficiency in the right hemisphere, but these were from a relatively small sample of 11 subjects, and our sample is over 40 times larger. [Emphasis added.]

Boom. Over forty times larger, son. Sit the hell down. "But forty times eleven is four hundred forty." Yeah, well, the jury's still out on mathematics. "But we ran a well-controlled study!" WHAT PART OF FORTY TIMES LARGER DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?!

Proof that size equals power can be found here.

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