I asked this question on english.stack but was told to post it here, even though I'm not a learner. I am only not sure if I understand the meaning of the sentence in bold.

The second [technology] provides measures of hemodynamic or metabolic consequences of neural activity such as local changes of blood flow, glucose consumption, or blood oxygenation (especially positron emission tomography [PET]; and functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI]). All these technologies are complex and expensive, and they tend within and between classes to have complementary strengths and weaknesses. (see, e.g., Nunez & Silberstein, 2000; Toga & Mazziotta, 1996; Wikswo, Gevins, & Williamson, 1993). Together, they undoubtedly constitute a major methodological advance for cognitive neuroscience. Indeed, scarcely an issue now goes by of any cognitive neuroscience journal that does not contain one or more papers featuring images outfitted with colored spots identifying regions of "significant" brain "activation" produced by some stimulus or task.13


1 Answer 1


This is more of a long comment than an answer, but we can't make long comments here.

You do not state the source of this text. Nevertheless, an immediate observation is that the writer is using highly technical jargon about some issue to do with statistical matters. Even as a statistician, I have to say that I do not understand it. The writer is addressing the (possibly very small) community of fellow experts. The writer is not interested in whether anyone else understands it. What is written appears to be grammatically correct, but grammatical correctness has only a limited connexion with being comprehensible.

Even allowing for the fact that the audience is presumed to be expert in the subject, the emboldened phrase appears to be an over-grandiose way of saying that there are various ways of examining something and that some of them are better at one aspect of that and others are better at other aspects. Without more detail the phrase is unintelligible.

  • Yes, exactly. It's an excerpt from a groundbreaking work Irreducible Mind a critical work on (para)psychology, neurology and philosophy of mind aimed at graduate students of these fields and higher. That's why now that I'm sure that the phrase is not just about grammar and simple semantics, I should post it to psychology.se. Thanks for guidance.
    – infatuated
    Sep 26, 2018 at 4:31
  • But before posting at psy.se, I provided more context in the edited version in hope we can make sense of it here.
    – infatuated
    Sep 26, 2018 at 4:36

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