This introductory chapter provides an overview of the five constraints on the ability to predict mental or behavioral outcomes based on brain data. Some psychologists and neuroscientists fail to attribute sufficient power to the context of observation. The subject's expectations comprise a second constraint on inferences. Meanwhile, a large number of investigators studying brain–behavior relations resist Niels Bohr's insight that the validity of every conclusion depends on its source of evidence. One reason why brain and psychological data yield conclusions with differing validities is that some brain measures are subject to the effects of bodily processes that exert minimal effects on many psychological observations. The last constraint to be considered is the practice of borrowing predicates whose meanings and validities originated in psychological measures gathered on human subjects and applying them to brain patterns, or to animals.
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