How serious is this challenge to the validity of fMRI research?
July 20, 2016 9:02 AM   Subscribe

A recent study claims to have found problems with fMRI software that cast a huge number of past studies into doubt. Is this over-inflated hype (debunking for sake of debunking) or is this a genuine challenge that actually invalidates past research? the report / article in the Economist.
posted by aunt_winnifred to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: as someone with a 'cognitive psychology phd dropout' familiarity with both fMRI and statistics...

my initial concern is the number of times they divided and re-ran the experiment drastically increases the potential for false positives- which is exactly what they're complaining about. 500 subjects is a fairly small sample when you're running three million comparisons.

this article has a discussion about a much simpler p-test that speaks to my question about the article.
posted by noloveforned at 9:22 AM on July 20, 2016

Is the bulk of fMRI data questionable? (Retraction Watch)
posted by caek at 9:52 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

A lot of fMRI studies are complete voodoo. Generally, fMRI looks at BOLD - blood oxygen level dependent contrast imaging - spots with increased blood flow is used as a correlate of neural activity, which is kinda sketchy but it's a tool that's available. Researchers have always acknowledged this and take fMRI studies with a grain of salt.

Dead Salmon fMRI
posted by porpoise at 11:09 AM on July 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

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