Brain Images, Babies, and Bathwater: Critiquing Critiques of Functional Neuroimaging

14/03/2014View on timeline

In 2014, the Hastings Center, a major bioethics institution, devoted its Report to assessing functional neuroimaging. In it, Martha Farah, a cognitive neuroscientist and a leading figure of neuroethics, systematically probed the critiques and concluded that while each had a “kernel of truth,” each could also be rebutted.

Yes, Farah noticed, a BOLD signal is not a direct measurement of brain activity, and we do not know to which aspects of neural activity it corresponds. But the relationship between the two is strong enough to make fMRI a useful tool. Images, like graphs or maps, are indeed manufactured, but they are not fabricated. Yes, fMRI is about localization, but it is not for localization’s sake, and most neuroimaging is not motivated by it.

Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

You can access the full Hastings Report on the link below:

Brain Images, Babies, and Bathwater: Critiquing Critiques of Functional Neuroimaging

Martha Farah, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and the director of the Center for Neuroscience & S...
You can read Martha Farah's bio below:

Martha J. Farah, Ph.D.



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Published in 11/01/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Chap. 2: Disciplines of the Neuro:

Invalid DateFirst use of the term NeuropoliticsFirst use of the term Neuropolitics
Invalid DateNeuropolitics, by William ConnollyNeuropolitics, by William Connolly
Invalid DateNeuroXNeuroX
Invalid DateNeuro Lit Crit
Invalid DatefMRI: A New Research Tool, by APAfMRI: A New Research Tool, by APA
Invalid DateU.S. Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
Invalid DateThe Development of ElectroencephalographyThe Development of Electroencephalography
Invalid DateInvention of fMRIInvention of fMRI