Are you tired of reading about how neuroscientists have discovered the area of the brain devoted to a single, oddly-specific function, but lack access to the sophisticated neuroimaging technologies needed to refute them? NeuroSynth
has you covered. [more inside]
In a New York Times op-ed called "You Love Your iPhone. Literally."
branding consultant Martin Lindstrom
says that his fMRI experiments show that iPhone users' brains "responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member ... they loved
their iPhones." The piece has drawn intense criticism
from neuroscientists, who have called it "complete crap
", "terrible, terrible
", and "truly hideous
UC Berkeley researchers have successfully used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to decode and reconstruct
people’s dynamic visual experiences
- in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.
(fMRI) is a widely used technique of brain imaging in the cognitive sciences, allowing researchers to visualize what part of the brain is responding to certain stimuli, resulting in striking images
of live brains
. These days, fMRI is seeing more non-research use, such as forming the basis of controversial new lie detectors
. Craig Bennett, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB, submitted a whole Atlantic salmon to fMRI analysis
, and found that this fish could apparently detect, and respond to, the the emotional state of human beings (poster
). Remarkable science, especially considering the salmon was dead at the time. [more inside]
A team of researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories
in Kyoto have managed to reconstruct black-and-white visual images
from an fMRI scan of a test subject's brain. Some more examples of the recovered data.
The organization responsible claims that the technology to record thoughts and dreams is just around the corner. [more inside]
Picturing our thoughts.
"We're looking for too much in brain scans
A New State of Mind.
"New research is linking dopamine
to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
Searching for God in the Brain.
"Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
Don't Even Think About Lying
fMRI is poised to transform the security industry, the judicial system, and our fundamental notions of privacy. I'm in a lab at Columbia University, where scientists are using the technology to analyze the cognitive differences between truth and lies. By mapping the neural circuits behind deception, researchers are turning fMRI into a new kind of lie detector that's more probing and accurate than the polygraph, the standard lie-detection tool employed by law enforcement and intelligence agencies for nearly a century.