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How -- and how much -- do fMRI studies contribute to psychology?

Please note: As room in Swift 107 is limited, we encourage folks to livestream the dialogue via their laptops (or from overflow room Swift 231).

Please contact Benjamin Dionysus ( for instructions.

Cognitive Science Dialogue

Dr. Nancy Kanwisher and Dr. Brian Scholl

Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Department of Psychology at Yale University

    Tuesday, April 12th
    Swift Hall 107
    (Overflow rooms Swift 231, and Wieboldt 421)
    Reception to Follow 

How -- and how much -- do fMRI studies contribute to psychology?

The early 1990's saw an explosion of interest in functional MRI, a new technique for viewing activation in active human brains. The past 30 years of fMRI research have revealed detailed maps of sensory representations, and neural correlates of categories of cognitive processes. Yet many psychologists claim severe limitations to how such findings about the brain can constrain our understanding of the mind. 
In this dialogue, two cognitive scientists will explore the boundaries of when – and how – fMRI constrains theories of cognitive processing. Has fMRI been a revolutionary advance?  A faddish detour?  Something in between?
Nancy Kanwisher is a Professor of Cognitive Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her lab investigates the functional organization of the brain as a window into the architecture of the human mind. 
Brian Scholl is a Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His lab investigates cognition and perception, and how they relate to each other.  
The moderator for the dialogue will be Robin Nusslock, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University. His lab employs both neurophysiological and neuroimaging technologies to examine the neural circuitry underlying emotion and emotional disorders.