Friday, 5 June 2020

Studies of Brain Activity Aren’t as Useful as Scientists Thought (2020)

Oh dear. From a press release on Duke University website HERE:
Hundreds of published studies over the last decade have claimed it's possible to predict an individual’s patterns of thoughts and feelings by scanning their brain in an MRI machine as they perform some mental tasks.

But a new analysis by some of the researchers who have done the most work in this area finds that those measurements are highly suspect when it comes to drawing conclusions about any individual person’s brain.
Which brings to mind the winners of the 2012 Ig Nobel prize in neuroscience, Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford, for "demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon".

REFERENCE: “Neural Correlates of Interspecies Perspective Taking in the Post-Mortem Atlantic Salmon: An Argument For Multiple Comparisons Correction,” Craig M. Bennett, Abigail A. Baird, Michael B. Miller, and George L. Wolford, Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results, vol. 1, no. 1, 2010, pp. 1-5.