Chapter 14 Study Questions

  1. How might fMRI data be misrepresented in news articles targeted to a general audience? What aspects of fMRI pose challenges for its media coverage?
  2. What are circular analyses? When have they arisen in reports of fMRI research?
  3. How can fMRI researchers prevent circular analyses?
  4. What is peer review? Why is it critical for scientific research, including for studies using fMRI?
  5. What principles underlie the ethical conduct of research with human subjects?
  6. How do researchers obtain permission from their institutional review board (or similar agency) to conduct a research project? What must they demonstrate?
  7. Why has confidentiality of fMRI data become an increasingly important issue in recent years?
  8. What are “incidental findings” in MRI studies?
  9. What procedures do you think fMRI researchers should adopt to deal with incidental findings?
  10. Suppose that fMRI data had some (albeit imperfect) prognostic validity, specifically with predicting that an asymptomatic individual might develop a particular disease. What ethical issues does that raise?
  11. How can fMRI researchers improve the robustness of their safety procedures?
  12. Some policymakers and scientists have expressed concern about the use of fMRI to tell lies from true statements in a legal setting. Based on what you have learned, do you think fMRI data should be admissible as evidence?
  13. What are the capabilities and limitations of using fMRI to read the contents of mental states?
  14. How might fMRI be used for evaluating individuals’ traits? What ethical issues does this raise?
  15. As fMRI has matured as a technique, it has been applied to many new research questions and disciplines. What positive consequences have resulted? What challenges have arisen?
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