Brain Imaging: What it Can (and Cannot) Tell Us About Consciousness

Hardcover | May 14, 2013

byRobert G. Shulman

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Magnetic resonance imaging methods have taken a commanding position in brain studies because they allow scientists to follow brain activities in the living human. The ability to measure cerebral anatomy, neuronal firing and brain metabolism has extended and re-invigorated hopes ofunderstanding the role that brain activity plays in human life. The brain has assumed a central role in our thinking of the world that can be traced back to the philosophies that are expressed in psychology, religion, literature, and everyday life. Brain scientists, planning and measuring brainactivities by imaging methods, have consciously or unconsciously been influenced by these philosophical views. This book, in describing the experiments using imaging methods, traces how assumptions about the nature of brain function made in planning scientific experiments are the consequences of philosophical positions. Experiments that relate brain activities to observable behavior are shown to avoid thephilosophical and psychological assumptions about mental processes that have been proposed to underlie these behaviors. These promising, empirical experiments are consistent with the philosophy of Pragmatism which, in judging hypotheses about understanding by their consequences, has questioned thevalue of everyday conceptualizations of brain activity for imaging studies.

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Magnetic resonance imaging methods have taken a commanding position in brain studies because they allow scientists to follow brain activities in the living human. The ability to measure cerebral anatomy, neuronal firing and brain metabolism has extended and re-invigorated hopes ofunderstanding the role that brain activity plays in huma...

Robert G. Shulman is a biophysicist who has pioneered the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and other spectroscopic techniques in Physics, Biochemistry and brain imaging. His original studies created fields of investigation in all these disciplines. His students and post-doctoral associates, now leaders in their fields have received th...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:182 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:May 14, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199838720

ISBN - 13:9780199838721

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Mind and Matter2. Biophysics: An Empirical Science3. A Philosophical Background4. Neuroscience: A Multidisciplinary Multi-level Field5. The State of Cognitive Neuroscience: An Over-optimistic Theory6. Brain Energy and Neurotransmission7. Global Brain Energy Supports the State of Consciousness8. Incremental Brain Energies and the Acts of Consciousness9. A Life in Humanities and ScienceIndex