Friday, 6 March 2009

Zombie neuroimaging: High-tech phrenology?

Having a conversation with a professor of social psychology the other day concerning the two recent papers about voodoo neuroscience (voodoo neuroscience & snake oil), I was told something like, “At its best neuroimaging can tell us something interesting things about human psychology and the brain, but at its worst its nothing more than high-tech phrenology. I think the best thing it could do however, would be to locate the part of the brain that makes neuroscientists die-hard reductionists and then have it surgically removed”. Interesting food for thought, but only if you like the taste of brains! Material reductionists, however, would have us all believe that we are deluded zombies devoid of any free will and real consciousness anyway, so perhaps they would be happy with brains on the menu after all? For anyone taking offence, remember science is a method not a belief.

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