Sunday, 21 April 2013

Neurovalidity and the Knowledge of Salmon

In this entertaining talk skeptical social psychologist Carol Tavris notes the tendency to add the prefix 'neuro' to a variety of different fields of study with the intent of adding status and validity, likening it to how the suffix 'behaviour' had to be added to various phenomena in the behaviourist era.
She identifies four key concerns:

1) Technomyopia: where technology filters our ability to experience scientific phenomena

2) Methodological problems: issues of how data is framed and dead salmon lessons (see below)

3) Reductionism: a failure to recognise individual variation and context

4) Neuromarketing: the hype that surrounds using the 'in' vocabulary

In emphasising the risk of over-technologising our approach, the speaker refers to the important study 'Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction' which can be viewed here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one! Really enjoyed the talk-for more about the over-use of neuroimaging, see Brad Buchsbaum's blog where he proposes the come back of RT experiments, which are essentially like 'really cheap functional neuroimaging studies':