Oh posters

First day of SFN. Ok I'm tired already. Went to good talks and some posters. Just wanted to make a quick comment before I collapse in bed. Ive been hearing a lot of complaints from students about the quality of posters at this SFN. Maybe it's not unique to this SFN and it's a problem every year, but it seems more talked about this year. Many people feel that presenters are not explaining their posters clearly enough and their descriptions are unintelligible to all except those working in that specific field. Presenters often ignore the big picture and go straight into their "data dive" which may not make much sense unless you've been working in that field for a while. Isn't the point of SFN to get people from various branches of neuroscience to come and be exposed to different ideas and techniques?

So why is it that most people are so inadequately prepared for presenting their posters? Could be that they don't have the presentation skills to lay out the big picture and put things in context before getting into the data on the poster. Or it could be that they do it on purpose so as to deter people not familiar with their research area from spending too much time at their poster (assuming their principal objective is to get good feedback regarding their experiments from people experienced in their field). Or it could just be that people are simply tired of going through everything for the 95th time and just skip to the bare essentials which are not enough to convey to the audience the information that they're trying to convey and hold their interest at the same time.

I don't know. I'm gonna do an experiment tomorrow to try to figure out. Day 2 here I come!


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Astra Bryant

Astra Bryant is a graduate of the Stanford Neuroscience PhD program in the labs of Drs. Eric Knudsen and John Huguenard. She used in vitro slice electrophysiology to study the cellular and synaptic mechanisms linking cholinergic signaling and gamma oscillations – two processes critical for the control of gaze and attention, which are disrupted in many psychiatric disorders. She is a senior editor and the webmaster of the NeuWrite West Neuroblog