Voxels in the brain: Neuroscience, Informatics and changing notions of objectivity

Beaulieu, A., Oct-2001, In : Social Studies of Science. 31, 5, p. 635-680 46 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

In the 1990s, the 'Decade of the Brain', a number of digital and electronic resources have been created to enable the rationalization and integration of the various sub-fields of neuroscience. This approach has been described as 'neuroinformatics'. An important subset of tools (atlases of the brain) developed in the Human Brain Project is examined in detail in order to understand how the use of these tools changes the practice of science. In the course of the development of atlases, what constitutes 'objective' neuroscientific knowledge is redefined in important ways, according to both technological possibilities built into these tools and to the constraints of standardization inherent in projects that involve multiple measurements. The constitution of objectivity is examined across a number of levels (ontological, epistemic, pragmatic) and the concept of 'digital objectivity' is suggested as a label for a particular configuration of ideals, techniques and objects of knowledge in cyberscience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-680
Number of pages46
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2001
Externally publishedYes


  • atlas, cyberscience, database, neuroinformatics, objectivity, social informatics, PROJECT, DECEPTION

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