The exploratory dimension of fmri experiments
Palavras-chave:Experimentação exploratória, Magnético funcional, Imagem de ressonância, Neurociência cognitiva, Práticas experimentais, Neuroimagem funcional
Driven by an appreciation of the field’s early stage of development, I apply the concept of exploratory experimentation, originally put forward in the late 90s philosophy of biology, to current research in cognitive neuroscience. I concentrate on functional magnetic resonance imaging and how this wide-spread technique is used, from experimental design to data analysis. I claim that, although subject to certain significant modifications with respect to the concept’s original rendering, the exploratory character of neuroimaging experiments can be appreciated considering their goals, centered on the stabilization of experimental systems for phenomenological description, and the relevance of their methodological facet. Although I do not claim that there is a specific kind of experiment that one can single out as definitely exploratory, exploration can be seen as a general trait imbuing fMRI-based experimentation.
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