In Defense of Brain Imaging

Brain imaging has fared pretty well in its three decades of existence, all in all. A quick search of the PubMed database for one of the most popular methods, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), yields some 22,000 studies.  In 2010 the federal government promised $40 million for the Human Connectome Project, which aims to map all of the human brain’s connections. And brain imaging will no doubt play a big part in the president’s new, $4.5 billion BRAIN Initiative. If you bring up brain scanning at a summer BBQ party, your neighbors may think you’re weird, but they’ll be somewhat familiar with what ...

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