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Functional magnetic resonance imaging: a critical analysis of its technical, statistical and theoretical implications in human neuroscience
INTRODUCTION. The use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has represented an important step forward for the neurosciences. Nevertheless, it has also been subject to rather a lot of criticism.
AIM. To study the most widespread criticism against fMRI, so that researchers who are starting to use it may know the different elements that must be taken into account to be able to take a suitable approach to this technique. DEVELOPMENT. The fact that fMRI allows brain activity to be observed makes it a very attractive and useful tool, and its use has grown exponentially since the last decade of the 20th century. At the same time, criticism against its use has become especially fierce. Most of this scepticism can be classified into aspects related with the technique and physiology, the analysis of data and their theoretical interpretation. In this study we will review the main arguments defended in each of these three areas, as well as looking at whether they are well-founded or not. Additionally, this work is also intended as a reference for novel researchers when it comes to identifying elements that must be taken into account as they approach fMRI.