To break down what it is I’ve been doing for the last few hours, I take recordings of the electrical activity of someone’s brain, it looks something like this:
Lots of squigglies. Too many, in fact — some of those squigglies are the influence of the electrical activity of the heart and of outside sources (like the MRI we stick them in), and they don’t represent the brain activity that we’re looking for. So, you spend a few hours playing with various computerized filtering techniques to get rid of those influences and get something like this:
Presto-boom-o, you’ve got some more-or-less pure brain activity to look at. Repeat it about 50-60 times for all your subjects (PS: still need subjects, enquire within), throw them all together for some groupwise stats, shake it up, have a cookie, and go write it up to share with the world.
Unfortunately, tonight has not been my night for analysis. The stupid program keeps crashing randomly, and now I’ve gone back to look at some of the saved data from earlier in the night:
WHERE ARE MY SQUIGGLIES??!!
Anger and frustration do not even begin to cover it.