A bug in fMRI software could invalidate 15 years of brain research

Bec Crew, Science Alert, Jul 08, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I haven't reported on fMRI research here over the years nog because I magically knew that it was flawed - obviously I didn't - but because I don't trust it. The problem is that the fMRI images are data being interpreted with no way to validate the interpretation. You may as well try to read hard drives by scanning the heat signatures; who is to say your reading is wrong? How bad is the current result? "Some results were so inaccurate, they could be indicating brain activity where there was none." It's the sort of thing that people should have expected. The winner of a igNobel used an fMRI to detect brain activity in a pumpkin and a dead salmon. "The authors note that at the time the poster was presented, between 25-40% of studies on fMRI being published were NOT using the corrected comparisons."

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