Copyright © 2013 Svetlana V. Shinkareva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This paper covers similarity analyses, a subset of multivariate pattern analysis techniques that are based on similarity spaces defined by multivariate patterns. These techniques offer several advantages and complement other methods for brain data analyses, as they allow for comparison of representational structure across individuals, brain regions, and data acquisition methods. Particular attention is paid to multidimensional scaling and related approaches that yield spatial representations or provide methods for characterizing individual differences. We highlight unique contributions of these methods by reviewing recent applications to functional magnetic resonance imaging data and emphasize areas of caution in applying and interpreting similarity analysis methods.