01 July 2008

No Evidence that Women Use Their Brains

At least not from this study of brain function and self-awareness. It used only 5 men as subjects and no women.
In the study, a collaboration that included the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, Harvard and Indiana University, researchers studied the brains of five healthy male volunteers using a new technique called diffusion spectrum imaging. The technique allows scientists to estimate the density and orientation of the connections running through specific brain locations. Using a computer analysis of the results, the researchers ranked the busiest spots on the cortex in order, by the number of connections they had. Finally, they plotted those spots back onto the brain maps of the five volunteers.

...To check their findings, the researchers performed a standard functional M.R.I. scan on the participants, measuring which areas of their gray matter — which bundles of their brain cells — were most active when the men were at rest. Sure enough, the same areas overlapped with the network hubs that the group had already identified. In previous studies, activation in these areas has been associated with wandering thought and acute self-awareness. In the jargon of the field, these areas “run hot” continuously during waking hours and consume far more energy than more peripheral areas. __NYT

These provocative findings, should eventually lead to high level functional models of brain activity. Imaging and computational techniques that were utilised in producing the analysis will allow for creation of progressively greater detail in our understanding of brain interconnections and resultant function.

Why did the researchers not also use women subjects, for comparative purposes? Why did Al Fin use such a provocative title for this interesting--but far from revolutionary--finding? Why is there something instead of nothing?

These are the questions that keep contemplative persons awake at night.

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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

I don't usually believe in prayer but if you are married I will say on for you. The use of women would be informative but it would make things more complicated. Doesn't it always.

Tuesday, 01 July, 2008  
Blogger Will Brown said...

As long as we're being a tad provocative, I'm going to suggest that the researchers wanted a direct answer to there question(s).

Why, Yes, I am divorced. Why do you ask?


Wednesday, 02 July, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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