The last 15 years of fMRI Research Might Be Useless

Admin | Published 2016-07-27 12:15
  We may know even less about the brain than we thought we did, and we didn't think we knew much, to begin with. A study submitted for review in February 2016 and approved in May 2016 found a bug in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) software. This flaw isn't just a small bump in the road, it could mean that everything we've learned about human brain activity in the past 15 years is totally wrong. Until the publication of this paper, scientists commonly used fMRI to scan the brain for study. Oftentimes, researchers used a technique in which areas of the brain would "light up" when in use. For the most recent study, researchers tested three of the most popular fMRI software packages (SPM, FSL, and AFNI), expecting an average false - positive rate of about 5%. Instead, the software resulted in false-positive rates of up to 70%. The bug was corrected in May 2016, but it leaves all of some 40,000 studies that used fMRI research in question. [embed][/embed]
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