This paper by Rebecca Schwarzlose discusses the biases often in place among neuroscience and psychology researchers, particularly in terms of assumptions concerning what type of brain is superior, and what counts as a deficit: “The standard approach to studying aging or stigmatized conditions is to compare neural or cognitive measures from the stigmatized group with those of a control group without the condition. While this approach is scientifically sound, our interpretations of the findings are often biased by the assumption that people without stigmatized conditions are neurally and mentally ideal.”
These assumptions can lead to poorer interpretations of results, as well as bias the data collection process itself. In addition to discussing this problem in research, this paper suggest several strategies to combat these biases–such as collecting other data potentially related to performance (i.e. sleep quality and hearing) and asking stigmatized groups about points of confusion within the protocol during the Pilot (and adjusting accordingly prior to capturing data).
This paper by Linzie Taylor and Karen S. Rommelfanger discusses how currently, neuroscience is not meeting its full potential–and how this can be improved. They argue that this is due to white Western individualist bias (WWIB), which leads to the ignorance of many factors in neuroscience research that would otherwise promote equality. One such example from the paper, among many given, is EEG scans, and how despite the fact that they have much more noise when used on scalps of people with coarse and curly hair (i.e. in populations of African descent), neuroscience has continued heavily depending on using EEG globally for about 100 years. After illustrating this problem, the authors develop a framework for a more “relational” approach to science–an approach that, if adopted by neuroscientists, will hopefully increase the inclusivity of research as a whole.
EDI-toolkit is an amazing resource for definitions of EDI, research behind its importance, and various plans for improving EDI in neuroscience. This set of tools was developed alongside and based off of resources from the Human Brain Project, and includes guidelines for EDI in project governance, and in various parts of research development.
This week’s BWN Friday Post brings you the Alba Network, a team and network dedicated to promoting diversity and equity in the brain sciences. They have so many amazing resources and so much information on their website, but we especially wanted to highlight their resources section (particularly their guide for organizing a diverse conference), as well their many working groups! Check out the website, share their resources, and get involved here!
This week’s BWN Friday Post brings you a paper by Perry Zurn, Joseph Stramondo, Joel Reynolds, and Dani Bassett. In it, they discuss the importance of expanding DEI efforts within the field of biological psychiatry to include disability justice, what has been done so far, and concrete recommendations to continue working upon this going forward.
This week’s BWN Friday Post brings you an article by Eva Amsen, titled “Neuroscientists Want To Make Music Science Studies More Diverse.” In it, she highlights the conversation between this paper and this response, in which the authors discuss how many music science studies focus on the way the brain processes Western music–without considering other musical forms–and do not recruit diverse enough participants (with relation to the type of music they listen to). These papers, as well as Amsen’s article, discuss how that can be changed and why it’s important.
This week’s BWN Friday Post brings you a paper by Eleanor Palser, Maia Lazerwitz, and Aikaterini Fotopoulou titled “Gender and geographical disparity in editorial boards of journals in psychology and neuroscience.” They investigated the makeup of the editorial boards of several journals, and found that there is a disproportionate amount of editors from the US compared to other countries, as well as a disproportionate amount of male editors vs female ones.
This week’s BWN Friday Post brings you a new paper from April Bailey and colleagues on the gender bias even when gender-neutral terms are used, titled: “Based on billions of words on the internet, PEOPLE=MEN“.
This week’s BWN Friday Post brings you a new paper from Rasha Kardosh and colleagues on the illusion of diversity, titled: “Minority salience and the overestimation of individuals from minority groups in perception and memory“.