Beyond the single study: Function/location metanalysis in cognitive neuroimaging

Peter T. Fox, Lawrence M. Parsons, Jack L. Lancaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Cognitive neuroimaging maps the brain locations of mental operations. This process is iterative, as no single study can fully characterize a mental operation or its brain location. This iterative discovery process, in combination with the location-reporting standard (i.e. spatial coordinates) of the cognitive neuroimaging community, has engendered a new form of metanalysis. Response locations from multiple studies have been analyzed collectively so as to better describe the spatial distribution of brain activations, with promising results. New hypotheses regarding elementary mental operations and their respective brain locations are being generated and refined via metanalysis. These hypotheses are being tested and confirmed by subsequent, prospective experiments. Function/location metanalysis is an important new tool for hypothesis generation in cognitive neuroimagjng. This form of metanalysis is fundamentally different from the effect-size metanalyses prevalent in other literatures, with unique advantages and challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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