The Crystal Brain The New Science of Neuroimaging
Denis Le Bihan, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, is both a physicist and a physician. This has enabled him to enrich the MRI technique with some crucial innovations, which are now routinely used at ‘NeuroSpin’, the neuroimaging centre that he founded and directs at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), at Saclay, near Paris.
Non-invasive neuroimaging in real time has rapidly become a recognised scientific discipline. Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) has revolutionised research in numerous scientific fields, enabling scientists to tackle questions that were previously beyond the scope of medicine and the neurosciences.
Can we now unfailingly identify a neurological or psychiatric disorder? Can a brain aneurysm be diagnosed early enough? Can we now see the ‘thinking brain’, as science fiction writers had imagined? The answer to these questions is often yes, and present research will only take us further along this path.
The author gives an enthusiastic account of the development of techniques resulting from the pooling of research carried out in physics, information technology and medicine and which have been placed in the service of biology, neuropsychology, the cognitive sciences and hospital medicine. As such, these techniques will perhaps serve as models for the science of the future, and are expected to provide a precise account of the workings of the brain.
• This is the first book for a wide readership that explains the current revolution in research and knowledge about the brain.
• An ethical and technological debate: what happens to privacy if thoughts can be read?
• Included here is a full-colour section with recent images obtained using the latest techniques.