Biases in measuring the brain: The trouble with the telencephalon

Lara D. LaDage, Timothy C. Roth, Vladimir V. Pravosudov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


When correlating behavior with particular brain regions thought responsible for the behavior, a different region of the brain is usually measured as a control region. This technique is often used to relate spatial processes with the hippocampus, while concomitantly controlling for overall brain changes by measuring the remainder of the telencephalon. We have identified two methods in the literature (the HOM and TTM) that estimate the volume of the telencephalon, although the majority of studies are ambiguous regarding the method employed in measuring the telencephalon. Of these two methods, the HOM might produce an artificial correlation between the telencephalon and the hippocampus, and this bias could result in a significant overestimation of the relative hippocampal volume and a significant underestimation of the telencephalon volume, both of which are regularly used in large comparative analyses. We suggest that future studies should avoid this method and all studies should explicitly delineate the procedures used when estimating brain volumes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalBrain, behavior and evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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