Tuesday update

It Might All Be Wrong

Tom Nichols and colleagues have published a paper on the software used to analyze fMRI data:

Functional MRI (fMRI) is 25 years old, yet surprisingly its most common statistical methods have not been validated using real data. Here, we used resting-state fMRI data from 499 healthy controls to conduct 3 million task group analyses. Using this null data with different experimental designs, we estimate the incidence of significant results. In theory, we should find 5% false positives (for a significance threshold of 5%), but instead we found that the most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%. These results question the validity of some 40,000 fMRI studies and may have a large impact on the interpretation of neuroimaging results.

Criminal Justice Forecasts

The ongoing discussion over the use of prediction algorithms in the criminal justice system reminds me a bit of the introduction of DNA evidence decades ago. Ultimately, there is a technology that few people truly understand and there are questions as to whether the information they provide is fair or accurate.

Shameless Promotion

I have a new book coming out with Hilary Parker, based on our Not So Standard Deviations podcast. Sign up to be notified of its release (which should be Real Soon Now).

 
comments powered by Disqus