Methodological and Conceptual Issues in the Study of the Aging Brain
The emergence of functional neuroimaging technology such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has ushered in a new stage in the study of the aging brain, allowing us to gain a unique appreciation of the complexity of the brain and cognitive aging. Although these methods are exciting and promising, it is important to be cautious given their increased availability. We must critically examine these methods and the potential of misinterpretation of results and overstatement of conclusions that might occur as a result of applying these methods to the aging brain. This chapter addresses methodological and conceptual issues that affect the interpretation of imaging data with specific regard to the study of brain aging.
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