40,000 fMRI studies to throw away!

A research team recently revealed what they called a Cluster failure.

Most functional MRI studies conclusions may be erroneous because of their statistical basis. Widely used clustering inference techniques are actually pretty bad at properly inferring clusters due to “spatial autocorrelation functions that do not follow the assumed Gaussian shape”.

It means that “most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%”… suggesting that some results were so inaccurate they could indicate brain activity that does not exist at all!. What is interesting is that neuroscientists are interpreting what they’re told by the statistical software rather than images.

These findings speak to the need of validating the statistical methods being used in the field of neuroimaging.

Therefore, 15 years of research on brain functioning could be invalidated!

But the issue is not limited to research but also extends to clinical use that is pretty worrying.


Image credits: fMRI by OpenStax from the Textbook OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology Published May 18, 2016

The benefits of mind mapping

An handmade mind map

Today, I’m back with a new post. I will present the advantages of using mind maps over concept maps.

Mind map guidelines


A mind map example: guidelines

Information mapping

There are plenty of information mapping techniques. However, I chose to consider only 2 sort of them which are often seen as rivals : concept maps and mind maps.

Structural difference


Both techniques can be used by engineers, educators, technical writers, psychologist to organize knowledge.

Concept map

More precisely, the former are used to structure knowledge by using link between words or phrases (mainly by engineers). They exhibit a hierarchical structure.

Electricity Concept Map


A concept map

Mind map

… where the latter can be considered as spider diagrams (such diagrams are an extension to Vienn-Peirce diagrams and Euler circles which “express constraints on sets and their relationships with other sets”) and are used mainly for brainstorming and visual thinking.

An handmade mind map


An handmade mind map

So what is exactly the difference? Actually both techniques are similar in radial structure but differ in that the latter are simplified by focusing around a single central key concept. That’s the point.

Rigorous vs creative

In one hand, concept mapping is rather advantaging logical thinking and tend to be precise and verifiable. In the other hand, mind mapping equally combine logical thinking with creativity in that they are more personal and stimulating.


I found a picture of Philippe Boukobza that summarize the differences and similarities of both approaches but I would like to present you the true benefits of mind mapping.

Shared advantages

Both techniques improves comprehension and memorization.

Specific ones

Mind mapping exhibits specific benefits which don’t always exist in concept mapping:

  • extensive use of icons and visual metaphors
    • studying easier
    • better memorization
  • fun
    • Improves contribution in teamwork
  • easy to use
  • better thinking
    • deeper understanding
    • excellent overview
      • whole picture
      • understanding of connections
      • Avoid to post review and structure ideas in note taking
    • clarity and conciseness


As you may conclude, such approach is useful for:

  • brainstorming
  • essay planing
  • studying
  • solving problems
  • generating creative ideas
  • creating presentations

I hope you found this technique useful and will use it in a near future.

If so, there are several software which can help to to create such mind maps.