the New York Times blows it big time on brain imaging

The New York Times has a terrible, terrible Op-Ed piece today by Martin Lindstrom (who I’m not going to link to, because I don’t want to throw any more bones his way). If you believe Lindstrom, you don’t just like your iPhone a lot; you love it. Literally. And the reason you love it, shockingly, … Continue reading the New York Times blows it big time on brain imaging

does functional specialization exist in the language system?

One of the central questions in cognitive neuroscience–according to some people, at least–is how selective different chunks of cortex are for specific cognitive functions. The paradigmatic examples of functional selectivity are pretty much all located in sensory cortical regions or adjacent association cortices. For instance, the fusiform face area (FFA), is so named because it … Continue reading does functional specialization exist in the language system?

fourteen questions about selection bias, circularity, nonindependence, etc.

A new paper published online this week in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism this week discusses the infamous problem of circular analysis in fMRI research. The paper is aptly titled “Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask,” and is authored by several well-known biostatisticians and … Continue reading fourteen questions about selection bias, circularity, nonindependence, etc.

time-on-task effects in fMRI research: why you should care

There’s a ubiquitous problem in experimental psychology studies that use behavioral measures that require participants to make speeded responses. The problem is that, in general, the longer people take to do something, the more likely they are to do it correctly. If I have you do a visual search task and ask you to tell … Continue reading time-on-task effects in fMRI research: why you should care

elsewhere on the net

Some neat links from the past few weeks: You Are No So Smart: A celebration of self-delusion. An excellent blog by journalist David McCraney that deconstructs common myths about the way the mind works. NPR has a great story by Jon Hamilton about the famous saga of Einstein’s brain and what it’s helped teach us … Continue reading elsewhere on the net

fMRI, not coming to a courtroom near you so soon after all

That’s a terribly constructed title, I know, but bear with me. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a courtroom case in Tennessee where the defense was trying to introduce fMRI to the courtroom as a way of proving the defendant’s innocence (his brain, apparently, showed no signs of guilt). The judge’s verdict is … Continue reading fMRI, not coming to a courtroom near you so soon after all

fMRI: coming soon to a courtroom near you?

Science magazine has a series of three (1, 2, 3) articles by Greg Miller over the past few days covering an interesting trial in Tennessee. The case itself seems like garden variety fraud, but the novel twist is that the defense is trying to introduce fMRI scans into the courtroom in order to establish the … Continue reading fMRI: coming soon to a courtroom near you?

green chile muffins and brains in a truck: weekend in albuquerque

I spent the better part of last week in Albuquerque for the Mind Research Network fMRI course. It’s a really well-organized 3-day course, and while it’s geared toward people without much background in fMRI, I found a lot of the lectures really helpful. It’s hard impossible to get everything right when you run an fMRI … Continue reading green chile muffins and brains in a truck: weekend in albuquerque

fMRI becomes big, big science

There are probably lots of criteria you could use to determine the relative importance of different scientific disciplines, but the one I like best is the Largest Number of Authors on a Paper. Physicists have long had their hundred-authored papers (see for example this individual here; be sure to click on the “show all authors/affiliations” … Continue reading fMRI becomes big, big science

functional MRI and the many varieties of reliability

Craig Bennett and Mike Miller have a new paper on the reliability of fMRI. It’s a nice review that I think most people who work with fMRI will want to read. Bennett and Miller discuss a number of issues related to reliability, including why we should care about the reliability of fMRI, what factors influence … Continue reading functional MRI and the many varieties of reliability