It is now possible to witness human brain activity while we are talking, reading, or thinking, thanks to revolutionary neuroimaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These groundbreaking advances have opened infinite fields of investigation—into such areas as musical perception, brain development in utero, and faulty brain connections leading to psychiatric disorders—and have raised unprecedented ethical issues. In Looking Inside the Brain, one of the leading pioneers of the field, Denis Le Bihan, offers an engaging account of the sophisticated interdisciplinary research in physics, neuroscience, and medicine that have led to the remarkable neuroimaging methods that give us a detailed look into the human brain.
Introducing neurological anatomy and physiology, Le Bihan walks readers through the historical evolution of imaging technology—from the x-ray and CT scan to the PET scan and MRI—and he explains how neuroimaging uncovers afflictions like stroke or cancer and the workings of higher-order brain activities, such as language skills. Le Bihan also takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey through NeuroSpin, his state-of-the-art neuroimaging laboratory, and goes over the cutting-edge scanning devices currently being developed. Considering what we see when we look at brain images, Le Bihan weighs what might be revealed about our thoughts and unconscious, and discusses how far this technology might go in the future.
Beautifully illustrated in color, Looking Inside the Brain presents the trailblazing story of the scanning techniques that provide keys to previously unimagined knowledge of our brains and our selves.