28 June 2010

What MRI scans show...and what they might in the future

Very nice exposition by Neurotopia of the limits of interpretation of MRI scans (what does it mean to say that an area of the brain is active; in what way, excitatory, inhibitory, modulatory?), and of new research by Karl Deisseroth and team showing that what we're seeing is excitatory behaviour and, furthermore, tracing the paths of the firing neurons (Deisseroth's technique involves infecting neurons with a gene producing light sensitive channels, extending right along each neuron).

All in rats, so far, which seems a far better place to be than making wild interpretations of scans of human brains.

[via Not Exactly Rocket Science]

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