Comment faire du vaudou avec l'imagerie cérébrale fonctionnelle?

Translated title of the contribution: How to do voodoo with functional neuroimaging

Cornelius Borck*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Starting with the debate on "Voodoo correlations in social neuroscience", the paper presents an STS-inspired epistemological analysis of functional neuroimaging. The sequence of events made it an almost textbook case of scientific debate on methods, standards, and scientific authority, though most of it took place in new electronic media, forming new platforms of discussion. In addition to these insights into the changing rules of scientific communication, the debate yields epistemological significance for this particular branch of research. Functional neuroimaging provides material evidence for complex social kinds. It apparently follows the reductionist agenda of a naturalized epistemology, but by extending it into social and cognitive realms, functional imaging results in an ontological inflation of strangely animated material objects, coming close to a surprising revival of animistic thinking. "Voodoo", introduced in the debate as a critique of curbed scientific rigor, turns into a descriptive concept, calling for further epistemological discussions.

Translated title of the contributionHow to do voodoo with functional neuroimaging
Original languageFrench
JournalRevue d'Anthropologie des Connaissances
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)571-587
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 09.12.2013

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Cultural Studies (ZKFL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-08 Cognitive and Systemic Human Neuroscience
  • 108-02 Theoretical Philosophy


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