pnas.201310134 neroscience.pdf - PERSPECTIVE PERSPECTIVE...

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PERSPECTIVE What is a representative brain? Neuroscience meets population science Emily B. Falk a,b,c,1 , Luke W. Hyde d,e,f,1 , Colter Mitchell e,g,1,2 , Jessica Faul e,3 , Richard Gonzalez b,d,h,3 , Mary M. Heitzeg i,3 , Daniel P. Keating d,e,i,j,3 , Kenneth M. Langa e,k,l,3 , Meghan E. Martz d,3 , Julie Maslowsky m,3 , Frederick J. Morrison d,3 , Douglas C. Noll n,3 , Megan E. Patrick e,3 , Fabian T. Pfeffer e,g,3 , Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz d,e,o,3 , Moriah E. Thomason p,q,r,3 , Pamela Davis-Kean b,d,e,f,4 , Christopher S. Monk d,e,f,i,o,4 , and John Schulenberg d,e,f,4 Departments of a Communication Studies, d Psychology, h Statistics, i Psychiatry, j Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, k Internal Medicine, n Biomedical Engineering; o Neuroscience Graduate Program; b Research Center for Group Dynamics, e Survey Research Center, and g Population Studies Center of the Institute for Social Research; and f Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; c Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadephia, PA, 19104; l Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, m Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program, Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI 53706; p School of Medicine Pediatrics and q Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202; and r Perinatology Research Branch, National Institutes of Health, Detroit, MI 48202 Edited by Mary C. Waters, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved September 11, 2013 (received for review May 31, 2013) The last decades of neuroscience research have produced immense progress in the methods available to understand brain structure and function. Social, cognitive, clinical, affective, economic, communication, and developmental neurosciences have begun to map the relationships between neuro-psychological processes and behavioral outcomes, yielding a new understanding of human behavior and promising interventions. However, a limitation of this fast moving research is that most fi ndings are based on small samples of convenience. Furthermore, our understanding of individual differences may be distorted by unrepresentative samples, undermining fi ndings regarding brain behavior mechanisms. These limitations are issues that social demographers, epidemiologists, and other population scientists have tackled, with solutions that can be applied to neuroscience. By contrast, nearly all social science disciplines, including social demography, sociology, political science, economics, communication science, and psychology, make assumptions about processes that involve the brain, but have incorporated neural measures to differing, and often limited, degrees; many still treat the brain as a black box. In this article, we describe and promote a perspective population neuroscience that leverages interdisciplinary expertise to ( i ) emphasize the importance of sampling to more clearly de fi

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