Monday, March 1, 2010

The Danger of Brain Pictures

As someone who does work involving brain images, I find this anecdote (from MindHacks) rather relevant.


Though this figure is humorous, it happens to be based on some real research.  Neuroimaging has yielded a huge amount of knowledge about the relationship between the brain and behavior but has also been used in poorly conceived or frivolous studies that gain attention simply because of accompanying pretty brain pictures.  

While we may be convinced by scientific sounding explanations and figures, poor methods are still poor methods and critical thinking skills are becoming increasingly important in evaluating neuroimaging studies (especially those discussed in the popular press).

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