All neuroimaging is considered part of brain mapping. Brain mapping can be conceived as a higher form of neuroimaging that produces brain images supported by the result of additional data and analysis. Brain mapping techniques are ever-evolving and rely on the development and refinement of image acquisition, representation, analysis, visualization, and interpretation techniques. Functional and structural neuroimaging are the center of the mapping aspect of brain mapping.

Many experts have issues with the claims made in scientific journals and other areas, like the idea of “the part of the brain responsible” for things like certain talents, emotions, or memories. Many mapping techniques have a relatively low resolution, including hundreds of thousands of neurons in a single voxel. Many functions also involve several parts of the brain, which means this type of claim is probably unverifiable and generally based on an incorrect assumption about how brain functions are divided. It may be that most brain functions will only be described correctly after being measured with much more fine-grained measurements that look not at large regions but instead at a very large number of tiny individual brain circuits. Many of these studies also have technical problems like small sample size or poor equipment calibration which means they cannot be reproduced – considerations which are sometimes ignored to produce a sensational journal article or news headline. In some cases the brain mapping techniques are used for commercial purposes, lie detection, or medical diagnosis in ways which have not been scientifically validated.

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