Have the Results of Some Brain Scanning Experiments Been Overstated?
Posted February 2, 2009on:
Ed Vul is a graduate student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Intitute of Technology. He’s also the lead author of a recent paper, “Voodoo Correlations in Social Neuroscience,” which explored the high correlations between measures of personality or emotionality in the individual—such as the experience of fear, or the willingness to trust another person—with the activity of certain brain areas as observed in an fMRI machine. The paper has provoked a flurry of commentary. Mind Matters editor Jonah Lehrer chats with Vul about what this study means for the future of social neuroscience, whether the press is to blame and why we should always make multiple guesses.