Neuroimaging and inferential distance

Neuroethics 1 (1):19-30 (2008)
Brain images are used both as scientific evidence and to illustrate the results of neuroimaging experiments. These images are apt to be viewed as photographs of brain activity, and in so viewing them people are prone to assume that they share the evidential characteristics of photographs. Photographs are epistemically compelling, and have a number of characteristics that underlie what I call their inferential proximity. Here I explore the aptness of the photography analogy, and argue that although neuroimaging does bear important similarities to photography, the details of the generation and analysis of neuroimages significantly complicate the relation of the image to the data. Neuroimages are not inferentially proximate, but their seeming so increases the potential for misinterpretation. This suggests caution in appealing to such images in the public domain.
Keywords Functional magnetic resonance imaging  Neuroimaging  Inferential distance
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12152-007-9003-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Richard Wollheim (1989). Painting as an Art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47 (3):281-284.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

93 ( #29,081 of 1,724,878 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,588 of 1,724,878 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.