Neurovis, neuroaccess, neuronet, neurosource, neuromind… ?

Update July 2012

More than two years ago I started this blog with a two-fold goal. On the one hand I wanted to store interesting links, blogs, articles… and formulate thoughts on these articles. On the other hand (depending on the amount of interest on the topics I talked about) I wanted to create a discussion platform about these topics that interest me, as well as meet people with similar interests.

I must admit I didn’t succeeded and am not succeeding in this two-fold goal, mainly because I haven’t been posting consistently. However… the last year my interests narrowed down, although this effort still translates to quite a broad number of interests. Nevertheless, it has become easier for me to better define the scope of this blog and hopefully move towards succeeding in my two-fold goal.

Bringing the scope of this blog to the public, confronted me with a first problem… how should I call this site? “Sleep, neuroscience and more…” isn’t a real catch-on… So I started writing down the keywords that describe this site, which I’ve complemented here with some additional information:

  • neuroscience

Neuroscience is a real broad term with already a lot of bloggers focussing on general neuroscience related publications (and probably doing a way better job than I could possibly do), so I won’t focus on general “hot” neuroscience publications (unless it falls into another category of interest). But since my interests are inherently part of this domain, this term is essential in describing my blog.

  • sleep (and consciousness)

We do this 30% of the day (if we’re lucky) but understand less than 30% about this state of reversible “unconsciousness”. This is such a fascinating field and will be a recurring topic in this blog.

  • data visualization
  • data accessibility

Data accessibility… This is a really broad term, hence my reason for using it here on purpose. For me data visualization plays an important role in making data accessible, but aside from this visualization aspect I’m also a big supporter of open source data and projects, thus looking at accessibility from another perspective. Although data visualization and accessibility techniques can be a topic in itself, I will mainly try to link these to applications within the fields of neuroscience and sleep to keep most things within the scope.

  • learning and memory

I’m very interested in projects that make education and learning accessible to all (hence this is more or less linked to the “accessibility part” as well). Not only am I interested in the accessibility part in terms of education being “open source”, but I also follow initiatives that try to make learning more easy and/or foster motivation to learn, for which data visualization and gamification can have an important role. Again these topics can be linked to my other areas of interest, like sleep, for which there are a lot of theories and studies focussing on the role of sleep in learning and memory.

  • R (and programming)

Most of the analysis of my own research data is conducted within R. I love R because of its great user community, the fact that it’s open source, and thus allows one to know what is going on behind all those functions, its flexibility to do almost everything one would want to do… There are already a lot of great blogs talking about R-tools and data visualization using R, but these could show up in this blog as well when they fall within the other categories of interest.

This lead me (after a lot of writing down possible word combinations) to the blog title “Neurosomnia” (neuroscience and insomnia; the first actually being a bit too broad and the second too narrow, but well hey… all the other words were taken 🙂 and this just sounded good enough for me ;-))

I don’t want to focus on sleep alone, nor did I want to cover the broad field of neuroscience in general. Although the keywords might give the impression the blog is broad, a lot of the keywords I discussed shouldn’t be seen as distinct from one another. A lot of the posts will cover a combination of these different keywords and will (should) provide a consistency through this blog.

If there are comments however with regard to transparency or things missing that you think might fit well, I’m always happy to hear about comments! Have a nice read!