A recent article in the New York times written by Gary Marcus discusses current difficulties, challenges and debates about brain simulations, brain images and their use and usefulness for understanding with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. He also highlights that there now is a wide range of popular science books that make claims about the opportunities brain imaging technology offer for example to market researchers. At the centre of his article is the emphasis on the lack of a theory of the brain that would or could allow neuroscientists, biologists and others who gather data related to brain activity to arrive at valid conclusions. Hence, claims made in these popular science books and also at market research conferences should be taken with a pinch of salt. Recent book reviews in Symbolic Interaction address these debates. For example,
in the most recent issue of the journal (Vol.37, 2(May)) Patrick Watson reviews Moran Alač “Handling Digital Brains” a book devoted to the practice involved in analysing fMRI scans, and Andrew S. Balmer reviews Martyn Pickersgill und Ira van Keulen’s “Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences“.
Links to the Book Reviews
Patrick Watson. 2013. Handling Digital Brains: A Laboratory Study of Multimodal Semiotic Interaction in the Age of Computers. Symbolic Interaction. Vol.37(2): 312-314.
Andrew S. Balmer. 2013. This is your Brain on Neuroscience. Symbolic Interaction. Vol.37(2): 309-311.