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.
Acknowledgments viiIntroduction 11Elementary Particles 4Broca's Discoveries 5The Birth of Modern Neuroimaging 7The First Revolution: The X-RayCT Scanner 8Nuclear Magnetism 11The Nuclei Enter into Resonance: From NMR to MRI 13The Anatomy of an MRI Scanner 16The Crystal Skull 182The Magnetic Brain 22The Computer at Work 22The Brain's GPS 24When the Brain Is Constructed 25The Destiny of Neurons 28Language and Cerebral Plasticity 30Genes or Environment? 33The Phrenology of the Brain 353Seeing the Brain Think 38I Think, Therefore I Irrigate 38Seeing the Brain with Antimatter! 39The Glory of PET 41Positrons on the Verge of Being Replaced by Magnetism 42Electrons Come to the Aid of Protons 43The Wrong Track 45A Question of Oxygen 46From Rats to Cats . . . Then to Humans 47The Prowess of Functional MRI 48Don't Think of Anything 50Proof through Statistics 51The Homunculus Seen in fMRI 52The Traps of fMRI 53The Missing "L" 544The Magnetic Brain in Action 56A Cat in the Brain 57Mental Reading 59"When Things Are Bad, Look at Yourself in a Mirror" 62Singing in the Brain 64What Side Do You Speak On? 67An Expensive Lie Detector 71The Intimate Brain 73Does Free Will Exist? 76At the Doors of Awareness 785The Brain Probed through Water Molecules 82Einstein's Visions 84NMR Sensitive to Diffusion 86From NMR to MRI: Diffusion . . . Confusion 87Diffusion and Cancer 90Mike's Other Discovery 93White Matter Takes On Colors 95An Asynchronous Brain 996Water: Molecule of the Mind? 104The Firefighters Arrive a Bit Late 104Swelling Neurons 106Two Types of Water 109104.5 Degrees: The Angle of Life 111Protons Play Leapfrog 114The Tribulations of Water in Cells 115A Dance of Spines 118Mechanical Neurons 1217The Crystal Brain 125Enter the Nanoparticles 126Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen 129MRI of the Extreme 133An Exceptional Instrument for an Exceptional Organ 137The Birth of NeuroSpin 141Safety Above All 143Conquering the Brain 147In Search of a Neural Code? 150References 153Figure Credits 161Index 163