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Mental Function and Cerebral Cartography: Functional Localization in fMRI Research

McCaffrey, Joseph / B (2016) Mental Function and Cerebral Cartography: Functional Localization in fMRI Research. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation advances a novel philosophical account of the relationship between brain mapping and cognitive theorizing in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research. I argue that testing hypotheses about human cognition and behavior with fMRI critically depends on bridging assumptions about how cognitive functions map onto the brain. I demonstrate that in light of recent theoretical (e.g., network thinking) and methodological (e.g., resting state fMRI) advancements, these bridging assumptions are often problematic. I conclude that at this stage of scientific development, fMRI research should focus on articulating and testing new bridging assumptions rather than testing psychological theories.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McCaffrey, Joseph / Bjbmccaffrey@gmail.comJBM48
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMachery,
Committee CoChairMachamer,
Committee MemberChirimuuta, Mazviita
Committee MemberDanks, David
Committee MemberPlaut, David
Date: 2 October 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 May 2016
Approval Date: 2 October 2016
Submission Date: 5 August 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 146
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy Neuroimaging Philosophy of Science Brain Mapping fMRI
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2016 19:13
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:35


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