Casting Light on the Dark Side of Brain Imaging - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128161791

Casting Light on the Dark Side of Brain Imaging

1st Edition

Editors: Amir Raz Robert Thibault
Paperback ISBN: 9780128161791
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st March 2019
Page Count: 204
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Casting Light on the Dark Side of Brain Imaging takes a hard look at the science behind brain imaging and outlines why this technique remains promising despite its seldom-discussed shortcomings. The book challenges the common admiration for brain imaging and divulges professional insights, from critical thinking and neuroskepticism, to novel experiments and meta-analyses that debunk the craze for reductionist, headline-grabbing neuroscience. Whether you are a seasoned professional, behavioral neuroscientist, a student of psychiatry, cognitive sciences, education and related disciplines, this book unveils the true nature of brain imaging data.

Key Features

  • Outlines the wide-ranging fields that draw on neuroimaging
  • Challenges the tendency toward neuro-reductionism
  • Highlights how common statistical approaches bolster the hype
  • Discusses the ethical implications of imaging brains
  • Explores emerging brain technologies and future directions


Researchers, students, and clinicians in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, medicine, psychiatry, neurology

Table of Contents

  1. What any aspiring NeuroJedi should know
    2. Neuroskepticism: Questioning The Brain as Symbol and Selling-point 
    3. Brain training: Truth and fad
    4. How brain imaging takes psychiatry for a ride
    5. Cyborg brains: Can integrating mind and machine set us free?
    6. Neurofeedback: A prime placebo?
    7. Meditation is not just brain training
    8. Reverse-engineering cognition: When/where does not reveal how/why
    9. The Brain in the Classroom: The Mindless Appeal of Neuroeducation
    10. The failure of neuro-reductionism: we’re more than our brains
    11. Schizophrenic mice? The shortcomings of animal models in brain research.
    12. The seductive power of neuro-arguments
    13. Neuro-placebos: when healing is a no-brainer
    14. Why brain science earns a disproportionate share of funding
    15. Secrets of the brain: most important findings to date
    16. Brain images: not the snapshots you thought they were
    17. Brain waves: how to decipher the cacophony
    18. Imaging artifacts: head motion, breathing, and other systematic confounds
    19. When the brain lies: Body posture alters neural activity
    20. The replication crisis: Brain imaging is next
    21. The deceiving power of small samples
    22. Will higher-tech scanners solve our problems?
    23. Can we zap the brain better?
    24. The shift from cognitive psychology to network science
    25. The ethics of imaging brains
    26. Beyond the brain: Towards an integrative cross-discipline understanding of human behavior
    27. Breakthroughs to come: the future of brain imaging


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© Academic Press 2019
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editor

Amir Raz

Amir Raz, PhD, ABPH, is Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention at both the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University and the SMBD Jewish General Hospital. He received his PhD in computation and information processing in the brain from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He went on to be a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael I. Posner at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He was then appointed to the position of Assistant Professor at Cornell University and subsequently at Columbia University in the City of New York. He is the recipient of multiple accolades, including the 2006 Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders and the 2005 Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 30). Professor Raz is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis. Having examined the safety and efficacy of psychiatric drugs across development, his active research interests span the neural and psychological substrates of attention, self-regulation, expectation, placebo, and consciousness. He is also conducting research into developmental psychopathology, the cognitive neuroscience of culture, authorship processes and atypical cognition. Using neuroimaging and other state-of-the-art techniques, his research elucidates the relationship between disparate attention networks and attentional planes such as hypnosis.

Affiliations and Expertise

Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Robert Thibault

Robert Thibault is a Ph.D. student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. He investigates how and why we image the living human brain. His research has highlighted the psychosocial and placebo phenomena involved in neurofeedback and raised body posture as an important variable in brain imaging research. He now focuses on how to expedite scientific discoveries through efficient research systems and rigorous experimental practices—in other words, meta-research. His work is supported by a scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Affiliations and Expertise

Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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