Making sense of research on the neuroimage bias

D. A. Baker, Jillian M. Ware, Nicholas Schweitzer, Evan F. Risko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Both academic and legal communities have cautioned that laypersons may be unduly persuaded by images of the brain and may fail to interpret them appropriately. While early studies confirmed this concern, a second wave of research was repeatedly unable to find evidence of such a bias. The newest wave of studies paints a more nuanced picture in which, under certain circumstances, a neuroimage bias reemerges. To help make sense of this discordant body of research, we highlight the contextual significance of understanding how laypersons’ decision making is or is not impacted by neuroimages, provide an overview of findings from all sides of the neuroimage bias question, and discuss what these findings mean to public use and understanding of neuroimages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • governance of science and technology
  • interaction experts/publics
  • lay expertise
  • public understanding of science
  • representations of science
  • science attitudes and perceptions
  • science communication
  • scientific controversies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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