Neuroimaging: A Slippery Slope

Is there a brain image for that?

In the quest to seek understanding of who we are, and how we work, the exploration of the vast landscape of the human brain is helped immensely by functional neuroimaging. However, it is not the answer to all we seek.

The brain is a complex system of integrated networks that cannot simply be reduced to an image and our interpretation of what that image represents. We should remain holistic in the study of the brain, never forgetting the intricacy of this wondrous organ. Emotion and behavior is the result of a complex symphony, not to be judged based on the performance of a single musician in the orchestra.

The following article in the Atlantic is a great reminder to us all.  Your Complicated Amygdala: Why Brain-Imaging Work is Misleading delves into revealing work done by William Cunningham at Ohio State University recently published in Current Directions of Psychological Science.

Seeing is believing, which is a slippery slope when is comes to the brain. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it never tells the entire story.


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