The field of in vivo neurophysiology currently uses statistical standards that are based on tradition rather than formal analysis. Typically, data from two (or few) animals are pooled for one statistical test, or a significant test in a first animal is replicated in one (or few) further animals. The use of more than one animal is widely believed to allow an inference on the population. Here, we explain that a useful inference on the population would require larger numbers and a different statistical approach. The field should consider to perform studies at that standard, potentially through coordinated multicenter efforts, for selected questions of exceptional importance. Yet, for many questions, this is ethically and/or economically not justifiable. We explain why in those studies with two (or few) animals, any useful inference is limited to the sample of investigated animals, irrespective of whether it is based on few animals, two animals, or a single animal.

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