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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Oct;85(4):650-61.

Just because you're imaging the brain doesn't mean you can stop using your head: a primer and set of first principles.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Developments within the neurosciences, cognitive sciences, and social sciences have contributed to the emergence of social neuroscience. Among the most obvious contemporary developments are brain-imaging procedures such as functional magnetic resonance imaging. The authors outline a set of first principles designed to help make sense of brain-imaging research within the fields of cognitive and social neuroscience. They begin with a principle few would debate--that social cognition, emotion, and behavior involve the brain--but whose implications might not be entirely obvious to those new to the field. The authors conclude that (a). complex aspects of the mind and behavior will benefit from yet a broader collaboration of neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and social scientists, and (b). social psychologists bring important theoretical, methodological, and statistical expertise to this interdisciplinary enterprise.

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