The Spatial Specificity Paradox in brain imaging, remedied with valid, infinitely-circular, inference
The most prevalent mode of inference in brain imaging is inference on supra-threshold clusters, with random field theory providing error guarantees. This introduces a spatial specificity paradox. The larger the detected cluster, the less we know on the exact location of the activation. This is because the null hypothesis tested is “no activation in the whole cluster” so the alternative is “at least on voxel is active in the cluster”. This observation is now new, but merely an implication of the random field assumption.