Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sometimes Research is Hard Work



Having a tough day in the lab today...been testing what we believe are new round of prototype pherotones, and that's got everyone a little tense.

We go out in the court yard every twenty minutes to "clear" our heads, but working around pherotones can be tough.

Still, in order to qualify as a pherotone, a ring tone must stimulate at least four out of five researchers at least in some way. If they turn three of us on, and one of us gets hungry, that's OK. It's not an exact science.

Today, we had many threes, but no fours. We may need to adjust our criteria. Maybe we are being a little too careful.

I have a great team, though. Brilliant researchers, every one.

Good looking too.

We're going out tonight after work. Yay!

6 Comments:

Anonymous Dr. Tom Trainham said...

Dr. Myra,

First of all, I'm impressed that you got a cell phone to produce ultrasonic frequencies - that seems like quite a technical hurdle.

You know, I'm worried that repeated exposure to pherotones is causing serious memory loss - making you forget basic experimental design. I'm worried both about you, and the effects of "experimenting" on your team and volunteers from universities (as noted in your IM chat with Bruce Stewart) (I hope this is being done in compliance with IRB protocols).

The appropriate design would have included a control condition that does not have the pherotone in the ringtone (if it is ultrasonic the participants should not know which stimulus they are exposed to). If you have a small number of participants, you would use a within subject design, but without a control condition, you are just failing around. The "3 out of 5" is nonsense. Use a standard alpha and you won't be running a risk of enormous Type I errors.

Of course, you should already know this stuff. Uh, a grad student from any number of disciplines should know this stuff. Unless they had SEVERE memory loss.

I'd suggest seeking medical attention immediately - then contacting anyone you may have "experimented" on. Any other course of action seems rather unethical given your memory loss.

25 January, 2006 19:59  
Blogger Andy said...

As a medical student, I have many questions for you, but it says you're blocked on IM. I downloaded some of your ring tones and I can already tell they're working. Thanks so much!

25 January, 2006 20:09  
Blogger Dr. Myra Vanderhood said...

See, now this is exactly the kind of criticism I welcome. Substantive. Well reasoned. This poster is clearly more knowlegable than I am. I can learn from him.

One of my favorite spiritual practices teaches me that there are no enemies in life only teachers.

Now that Dr. Tom has framed the issues for us that make him skeptical, we can begin to address them.

And we will.

I'm not convinced pherotones need to be "ulatrasonic," but if they do, the technology does exist to generate these sounds although I do not know if that technology could work in a cell phone.
Not knowing for certain where in the sound spectrum pherotones reside, I file this issue under "cross that bridge when we get to it."

As to memory loss. There is absolutely nothing in the scientific record that even remotely suggests that pherotones could possibly...uh...um...I mean...oh, geeze, I completely lost my train of...

Dr. Tom is completely correct about my methodology. It does not meet the standards of mainstream science. I plead no contest.

As for the last point, I have not been to see a doctor in awhile...a woman my age needs to see the doctor a lot more often than I do, that's for sure. I'm glad he is out there looking out for me. I will see a doctor as soon as I can get an appointment, which given the healthcare system, will probably be in March.

And I forget what his last point was.

25 January, 2006 22:10  
Blogger Dr. Myra Vanderhood said...

Dr-to-be Andy,

Thanks for the comment. I just glanced at your blog, and it made me envious.

I will answer your questions...this is the perfect forum for that.

But I also have so many questions. I need to map out my hypothesis from phone, through air, into the ear, from the saculus, through the auditory nerve, into the brain stem, and from there into the cerebral cortex.

On every step of the pherotone journey, I have many questions.

I'll answer yours, if you answer mine.

And invite your med school friends to join us in our dialogue (If you can safely do so without damaging your reputation as a physician. Feel free to post anonymously.)

Together, we can get to the bottom of this pherotone mystery.

25 January, 2006 22:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do tones actually trigger sexual attraction, and why does the site contain a defamer that says, "Pherotones are not intended to be used as a supplement, dating aid, vitamin, pump, extender, enhancer, relationship builder or love maker."
Doesnt this mean that pherotones are useless?

26 January, 2006 01:50  
Anonymous Dr. Tom Trainham said...

Dr. Myra,

Love the way you keep testing people. You say "But I also have so many questions. I need to map out my hypothesis from phone, through air, into the ear, from the saculus, through the auditory nerve, into the brain stem, and from there into the cerebral cortex." You can't mean cerebral cortex, you mean some mammalian structure, like the hypothalamus? Because your web site said that animals produced pherotones in courtship... and the hypothalamus secretes neurohormones, and is related to emotions and sexual activity (as well as is posited to be related to memory, etc.).

26 January, 2006 07:06  

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