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Perspect Psychol Sci. 2010 Nov;5(6):753-61. doi: 10.1177/1745691610388777.

Mapping Mental Function to Brain Structure: How Can Cognitive Neuroimaging Succeed?

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin poldrack@mail.utexas.edu.

Abstract

The goal of cognitive neuroscience is to identify the mapping between brain function and mental processing. In this article, I examine the strategies that have been used to identify such mappings and argue that they may be fundamentally unable to identify selective structure-function mappings. To understand the functional anatomy of mental processes, it will be necessary for researchers to move from the brain-mapping strategies that the field has employed toward a search for selective associations. This will require a greater focus on the structure of cognitive processes, which can be achieved through the development of formal ontologies that describe the structure of mental processes. In this article, I outline the Cognitive Atlas Project, which is developing such ontologies, and show how this knowledge could be used in conjunction with data-mining approaches to more directly relate mental processes and brain function.

KEYWORDS:

machine learning; neuroimaging; ontology; prediction

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