Conceptual Challenges in the Neuroimaging of Psychiatric Disorders

The brain scanner is a piece of philosophical fiction made fact. It was among the most common creations of thought experiments, along with the brain-vat and the mindless robot. With the imaginary scanner, readings were taken of each other's brain activity, thereby learning everything about other minds, or very little, depending on the outcome of the thought experiment. The scanners that are now in use—those that allow us to do functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), for example—are a little different to those imagined, perhaps, but they have very much arrived. They are in daily use in hundreds of laboratories, and for the past 15 years or so have been grabbing headlines the world over with breakthrough ..
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