From Scanner to Sound Bite: Issues in Interpreting and Reporting Sex Differences in the Brain

Cordelia Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuroimaging research is yielding reports of sex differences in the brain. Yet the likelihood of spurious findings of sex differences, the teething problems of new technology, the obscurity of the relation between brain structure and psychological function, and difficulties inferring mental states from neuroimaging data all require us to be considerably cautious in interpreting such results. Unfortunately, these issues are often overlooked in popular accounts. Together with a tendency for people to regard neuroscientific information as more scientific than behavioral data, and as indicative of male and female "nature," these issues point to the worrisome possibility of public misunderstanding of what contemporary neuroscience tells us about gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-283
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • gender
  • neuroethics
  • neuroimaging
  • science communication

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