Prediction as a humanitarian and pragmatic contribution from human cognitive neuroscience

Neuron. 2015 Jan 7;85(1):11-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.047.


Neuroimaging has greatly enhanced the cognitive neuroscience understanding of the human brain and its variation across individuals (neurodiversity) in both health and disease. Such progress has not yet, however, propelled changes in educational or medical practices that improve people's lives. We review neuroimaging findings in which initial brain measures (neuromarkers) are correlated with or predict future education, learning, and performance in children and adults; criminality; health-related behaviors; and responses to pharmacological or behavioral treatments. Neuromarkers often provide better predictions (neuroprognosis), alone or in combination with other measures, than traditional behavioral measures. With further advances in study designs and analyses, neuromarkers may offer opportunities to personalize educational and clinical practices that lead to better outcomes for people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Child
  • Cognitive Science
  • Crime*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Educational Status*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Functional Neuroimaging*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neurosciences
  • Organ Size
  • Prognosis