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Registration Pluralism and the Cartographic Approach to Data Aggregation Across Brains

Ward, Zina B. (2019) Registration Pluralism and the Cartographic Approach to Data Aggregation Across Brains. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. ISSN 1464-3537

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Abstract

Neuroscience has become increasingly reliant on multi-subject research in addition to studies of unusual single patients. This research has brought with it a challenge: how are data from different human brains to be combined? The dominant strategy for aggregating data across brains is what I call ‘the cartographic approach’, which involves mapping data from individuals to a spatial template. Here I characterize the cartographic approach and argue that one of its key steps, registration, should be carried out in a way that is sensitive to the target of investigation. Because registration aims to align homologous brain locations, but not all homologous locations can be simultaneously aligned, a multiplicity of registration methods is required to meet the needs of researchers investigating different phenomena. I call this position ‘registration pluralism’. Registration pluralism has potential implications for neuroscientific practice, three of which I discuss here. This work shows the importance of reflecting more carefully on data aggregation methods, especially in light of the substantial individual differences that exist between brains.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ward, Zina B.zina.b.ward@gmail.com0000-0003-0160-6656
Keywords: registration, philosophy of neuroscience, individual differences, pluralism, data aggregation, homology
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Zina B. Ward
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2019 21:11
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 21:11
Item ID: 16159
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publisher: OUP
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Date: 2019
ISSN: 1464-3537
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16159

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