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AJOB Neuroscience.

The Potential for Medicolegal Abuse: Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Traumatic Brain Injury

This article discusses the nature and value of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in medicolegal settings. Although the technology and theory that supports DTI is provocative and exciting, we argue that expert testimony that confidently relies on DTI is highly problematic. In this article, we discuss the current limitations inherent in acquiring and analyzing DTI data; list problems especially with specificity that limit DTI’s appropriateness in single-subject instances; and provide a brief history of the misuse and abuse of neuroimaging in mental illness and brain injury. We conclude with a plea for healthy skepticism regarding the value of these latest modalities in medicolegal settings, especially given the nature of their frequently visually spectacular impact on judges and jurors.

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Volume 5, Issue 2
March 2014