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Casting Light on the Dark Side of Brain Imaging

  • ID: 4700341
  • Book
  • February 2019
  • Elsevier Science and Technology
Most people find colorful brain scans highly compelling-and yet, many experts don't. This discrepancy begs the question: What can we learn from neuroimaging? Is brain information useful in fields such as psychiatry, law, or education? How do neuroscientists create brain activation maps and why do we admire them?

Casting Light on The Dark Side of Brain Imaging?tackles these questions through a critical and constructive lens-separating fruitful science from misleading neuro-babble. In a breezy writing style accessible to a wide readership, experts from across the brain sciences offer their uncensored thoughts to help advance brain research and debunk the craze for reductionist, headline-grabbing neuroscience.

This collection of short, enlightening essays is suitable for anyone interested in brain science, from students to professionals. Together, we take a hard look at the science behind brain imaging and outline why this technique remains promising despite its seldom-discussed shortcomings.?

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Section I: Imaging bains: What for? 1.  Can neuroimaging reveal how the brain thinks? 2.  Is addiction a brain disease? 3.  How brain imaging takes psychiatry for a ride 4.  Brain-computer interfaces for communication in paralysis 5.  Neurohype and the law: A cautionary tale 6.  The brain in the classroom: The mindless appeal of neuroeducation

Section II: What are we measuring? 7.  Brain waves: How to decipher the cacophony 8.  On the relationship between functional MRI signals and neuronal activity 9.  MRI artifacts in psychiatry: Head motion, breathing, and other systematic confounds 10. When the brain lies: Body posture alters neural activity

Section III: The devil's in the details 11. The replication challenge: Is brain imaging next? 12. Power and design considerations in imaging research 13. Why neuroimaging can't diagnose autism

Section IV: Neuroimaging: Holy Grail or false prophet? 14. From mind to brain: The challenge of neuro-reductionism 15. The power of belief in the magic of neuroscience 16. Neuroplacebos: When healing is a no-brainer 17. Brain imaging and artificial intelligence

Section V: Can we train the brain better? 18. Noninvasive brain stimulation: When the hype transcends the evidence 19. Neurofeedback: An inside perspective 20. The (dis)enchantment of brain-training games 21. What's wrong with "the mindful brain"? Moving past a neurocentric view of meditation 22. "Backed by neuroscience": How brain imaging sells

Section VI: What next? 23. From regions to networks: Neuroimaging approaches to mapping brain organization 24. Whole-brain modeling of neuroimaging data: Moving beyond correlation to causation 25. Connecting networks to neurons 26. High field magnetic resonance imaging

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Amir Raz Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Amir Raz, PhD, ABPH, is Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention at both the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University and the SMBD Jewish General Hospital. He received his PhD in computation and information processing in the brain from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He went on to be a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael I. Posner at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He was then appointed to the position of Assistant Professor at Cornell University and subsequently at Columbia University in the City of New York. He is the recipient of multiple accolades, including the 2006 Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders and the 2005 Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 30). Professor Raz is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis. Having examined the safety and efficacy of psychiatric drugs across development, his active research interests span the neural and psychological substrates of attention, self-regulation, expectation, placebo, and consciousness. He is also conducting research into developmental psychopathology, the cognitive neuroscience of culture, authorship processes and atypical cognition. Using neuroimaging and other state-of-the-art techniques, his research elucidates the relationship between disparate attention networks and attentional planes such as hypnosis.
Robert T. Thibault Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Robert Thibault earned his Ph.D. from the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. He investigates how and why we image the living human brain. His research has highlighted the psychosocial and placebo phenomena involved in neurofeedback and raised body posture as an important variable in brain imaging research. He now focuses on how to expedite scientific discoveries through efficient research systems and rigorous experimental practices-in other words, meta-research. His work is supported by a scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
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