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Neuroimage. 2007 Oct 1;37(4):1042-4; discussion 1066-8. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging: measuring versus estimating.

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University of Ferrara, and Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy.


Brain imaging techniques largely spread in neuroscience literature. Due to initial technical limitations such as the very low signal-to-noise ratio, group experiments became the rule. This fact, together with the wide use of standard brains to localize the activations, lead several experimenters to the wrong idea that the brain can be described by a Cartesian coordinate system, neglecting at the same time the importance of individual neuroanatomy. My commentary on the paper by Devlin and Poldrack reinforces their reminder that it is necessary to deal with anatomy. Moreover, it adds some considerations on the relevance of single subjects studies and on the importance of the BOLD intensity signal, which should be used to describe brain activity together with the most used statistical tools.

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