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How to establish robust brain–behavior relationships without thousands of individuals

Can studying individual differences in brain structure and function reveal individual differences in behavior? Analyses of MRI data from nearly 50,000 individuals may suggest that the possibility is fleeting. Although sample size is important for brain-based prediction, researchers can take other steps to build better biomarkers. These include testing model generalizability across people, datasets, and time points and maximizing model robustness by optimizing brain data acquisition, behavioral measures, and prediction approaches.

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Correspondence to Monica D. Rosenberg or Emily S. Finn.

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Rosenberg, M.D., Finn, E.S. How to establish robust brain–behavior relationships without thousands of individuals. Nat Neurosci (2022).

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