Methods: On averaging continuous raw data

We now have the luxury (compared to the good old days) of continuously monitoring data during a study protocol. For example, one can acquire continuous beat-to-beat measurements of middle cerebral blood flow velocity (MCA V) during 5, 30, 180 minutes or even more.

When you start a new study, you may want to analyze your raw data:

1) using the same method described in that interesting paper you just read or,

2) as it has always been done in your lab.

So, at the end of data collection, you sit in front of your raw data which now need to be averaged. What’s your game plan ?

If you compare two 10-minute conditions (baseline and drug infusion; under steady-state for the last 5 min), you get your data averaged over the last 5 seconds of steady-state? 15 seconds ? 60 seconds? 180 seconds ? Why? Also, is it protocol-depend? Why?


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