Are neuroimages like photographs of the brain?

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):860-872 (2007)
Abstract
Images come in many varieties, but for evidential purposes, photographs are privileged. Recent advances in neuroimaging provide us with a new type of image that is used as scientific evidence. Brain images are epistemically compelling, in part because they are liable to be viewed as akin to photographs of brain activity. Here I consider features of photography that underlie the evidential status we accord it, and argue that neuroimaging diverges from photography in ways that seriously undermine the photographic analogy. While neuroimaging remains an important source of scientific evidence, proper interpretation of brain images is much more complex than it appears. ‡This work was supported in part by a grant from the Leslie Humanities Center at Dartmouth College. I thank John Kulvicki for helpful comments, and Kim Sterelny, for making it possible for me to spend some time at the ANU with a grant from the Australian Research Council. †To contact the author, please write to: Dartmouth College, Department of Philosophy, Hanover, NH 03755; e-mail: adina.roskies@dartmouth.edu.
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References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Cohen & Aaron Meskin (2004). On the Epistemic Value of Photographs. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):197–210.
Citations of this work BETA
Colin Klein (2010). Images Are Not the Evidence in Neuroimaging. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):265-278.

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