Germanys main research-funding organization, DFG, has determined that a high-profile neuroscientist committed scientific misconduct in his DFG-funded work. That work concluded it is possible to interpret yes-or-no answers from the brain waves of fully paralyzed patients with “locked-in syndrome” due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrigs disease).
The 2013-2014 work was published in 2017 in PLOS Biology and covered by Ars. The researchers subsequently published a response to criticism of the work in 2019 in PLOS Biology, which was also included in the DFGs misconduct investigation.
In a statement, the DFG said that it determined that German neuroscientist Niels Birbaumer, the coordinating researcher on the work, and first-author Ujwal Chaudhary, a member of Birbaumers team, included incorrect information in three cases, did not completely record patient examinations by video as they reported, and failed to provide full data on patients.
Birbaumer and Chaudhary hold positions at the University of Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany, and the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland.
The DFG opened its investigation in 2018 after whistleblower Martin Spüler, at the time a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen, said that he could not replicate the researchers findings when he reanalyzed their data. An independent expert commissioned by the DFG as well as two other whistleblowers subsequently said that they too could not replicate the findings.
An independent investigation at the University of Tübingen likewise concluded in June that the researchers committed scientific misconduct. The investigation found evidence of selective data collection, missing and incomplete data, anRead More – Source