what Ben Parker wants you to know about neuroimaging

I have a short opinion piece in the latest issue of The European Health Psychologist that discusses some of the caveats and limits of functional MRI. It’s a short and (I think) pretty readable piece; I touch on a couple of issues I’ve discussed frequently in other papers as well as here on the blog–namely, the relatively low power of most fMRI analyses and the difficulties inherent in drawing causal inferences from neuroimaging results.

More importantly, though, I’ve finally fulfilled my long held goal of sneaking a Spiderman reference into an academic article (though, granted, one that wasn’t peer-reviewed). It would be going too far to say I can die happy now, but at least I can have an extra large serving of ice cream for dessert tonight without feeling guilty*. And no, I’m not going to spoil the surprise by revealing what Spidey has to do with fMRI. Though I will say that if you actually fall for the hook and go read the article just to find that out, you’re likely to be sorely disappointed.


* So okay, the truth is, I never, ever feel guilty for eating ice cream, no matter the serving size.

8 thoughts on “what Ben Parker wants you to know about neuroimaging”

  1. Probably a font issue — sometimes publishers put out PDFs using nonstandard fonts (that aren’t licensed for embedding) which don’t display in all PDF viewers. I haven’t looked deeply into the structure of the PDF itself to see if that’s the case.

  2. Right symptom, wrong problem. Loading it from the command line, I get a stream of
    Error: Couldn’t create a font for ‘OfficinaSerifStd-Book’
    Error: Couldn’t create a font for ‘FrutigerLTStd-Black’
    and similar errors, but the fonts do seem to be properly embedded. pdftotext was able to extract the actual content.

  3. I had a strict limit on references (well, to be fair, I’m not sure how strict they would have been about it, but I tried to follow the instructions); there were a bunch of other papers I would have liked to cite but didn’t. FWIW, I think anyone who bothers to read my commentary on the Vul paper (which I cite liberally) is going to be directed to Vul et al in short order. 🙂

  4. Great work. Congratulations.

    But please think about the real difference in really suffering people like those suffering from schizophrenia fRMI (and other tools) could make provided your methodology message is heard and people stop spending time and money on 7 people.

    Still I will not see the usefulness of studying several hundred women voluntering to masturbate inside a noisy machinery without even a proper toy.

    I wrote about your very interesting opinion paper in a comment to a neuroskeptic post. Being a middle-aged lazy psychiatrist I was not able to put a link from the journal but I hope many people in your field will read your much needed caution paper.

    Good luck on your carreer.

    Dr Ivana Fulli

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