Science in Action: Omega-3 (better measures)

I am collecting more self-experimental data than ever before. Partly because I am excited by the prospect of doing food-brain experiments that take just a few days (measuring effects of flaxseed oil and other foods that last a few hours) and partly because I learned how to get R to respond to single keystrokes. (Via the command getGraphicsEvent. Thanks to Greg Snow at Intermountain Healthcare.) This allows for much better reaction-time experiments; no longer do I need to respond and then hit Enter. Because the new method uses graphic windows, I have much better stimulus control.

I converted my letter-counting test (how many ABCD’s in GDKM? for example) to use the new command. Because the new command is so wonderful, I also used it to make a new test involving naming: The task is to type “1” when I see a 1, “2” when I see a 2, and so on. With eight possible stimuli (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 0) and eight possible answers, there should be few anticipation errors. Accuracy should be high. The task takes advantage of the fact that I have already learned to type “1” when I see a 1, which means there should be less problem with slow learning curves — learning (getting faster) continuing for a long time. The experiments I want to do need a steady baseline.

After running into Greg Niemeyer a few days ago, I realized it would help if I made these tests more game-like — then they would be more fun. I’m not sure how to do this so I hope to talk to Greg about it.

2 Replies to “Science in Action: Omega-3 (better measures)”

  1. Seth, you are not just a self-experimenter, you are our self-experiMENTOR.

    When you’ve confidently documented Omega-3s affects, we desperately need some clarity in the Omega 3/6/9 ratio theory. You need to find out if you can indeed block Omega 3s by eating too much Omega 6s at the same time. This is one of the more pressing issues facing us SLD oil guzzlers.

    Did you know the 2005 Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to a self-experimenter!

    “Dr Marshall finally swallowed the bacterium himself to prove his point.”

  2. Thanks, Dale, that’s a nice way of putting it.

    I agree, I want to measure the effects of omega-6 and omega-9, not just omega-3.

    Too bad Marshall doesn’t have a blog.

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