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A rough guide to testing cognitive theories with neuroimaging: problems and solutions

Friday 14 February, Macquarie University, Sydney


Emeritus Professor Max Coltheart (Macquarie University) and Associate Professor Greig de Zubicaray (The University of Queensland) will present a lively discussion on the problems and solutions associated with the testing of cognitive theories with neuroimaging. This discussion, to be held at the Macquarie University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, will be the closing event for the 2014 Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate: International Doctorate in Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB) European winter school. The discussion will be followed by commentary on the talks.


According to Aminoff and colleagues, in their chapter in the 2009 edition of Gazanniga's The Cognitive Neurosciences, in the decade of the 1980s, around a hundred books related to cognitive neuroscience were published; in the following decade the number increased tenfold to more than 1000; and in the period 2000-2008 more than 4000 such books were published. And yet, despite this remarkable burgeoning of interest in cognitive neuroscience, much research on testing cognitive theories with neuroimaging has been accused by critics of standardly making one or other of several theoretical, empirical or technical mistakes. In our talks we will identify some of the mistakes that seem to us very common in this literature and will suggest ways in which these mistakes can be avoided when one is designing research intended to test cognitive theories with neuroimaging.


  • 1:30pm - 3:30pm: discussion and commentary


The conference will be held in Room 1.200 (Lecture Theatre) at the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University, Sydney NSW, Australia.

Macquarie University Campus Map (may take a while to load)


  • Emeritus Professor Max Coltheart, Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University
  • Associate Professor Greig de Zubicaray, Department of Psychology, The University of Queensland

Speaker biographies (PDF)


  • Professor David Howard, Research Development Professor at Newcastle University, UK
  • Professor Gabriele Miceli, Professor of Neurology at the University of Trento, Italy
  • Dr Colin Klein, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney


Anastasya Romanova
Phone : +61 2 9850 2990
email :

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A rough guide to testing cognitive theories with neuroimaging: problems and solutions

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