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.
Denis Le Bihan is internationally recognized for his contributions to the development of imaging methods for the study of the human brain. He is the founding director of NeuroSpin, an institute of the French Atomic Energy Commission dedicated to ultra-high-field brain imaging. He won the 2012 Honda Prize, Japan's international award for science and technology, and the 2014 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine.
Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 1Elementary Particles 4 Broca's Discoveries 5 The Birth of Modern Neuroimaging 7 The First Revolution: The X-Ray CT Scanner 8 Nuclear Magnetism 11 The Nuclei Enter into Resonance: From NMR to MRI 13 The Anatomy of an MRI Scanner 16 The Crystal Skull 18 2The Magnetic Brain 22 The Computer at Work 22 The Brain's GPS 24 When the Brain Is Constructed 25 The Destiny of Neurons 28 Language and Cerebral Plasticity 30 Genes or Environment? 33 The Phrenology of the Brain 35 3Seeing the Brain Think 38 I Think, Therefore I Irrigate 38 Seeing the Brain with Antimatter! 39 The Glory of PET 41 Positrons on the Verge of Being Replaced by Magnetism 42 Electrons Come to the Aid of Protons 43 The Wrong Track 45 A Question of Oxygen 46 From Rats to Cats ... Then to Humans 47 The Prowess of Functional MRI 48 Don't Think of Anything 50 Proof through Statistics 51 The Homunculus Seen in fMRI 52 The Traps of fMRI 53 The Missing "L" 54 4The Magnetic Brain in Action 56 A Cat in the Brain 57 Mental Reading 59 "When Things Are Bad, Look at Yourself in a Mirror" 62 Singing in the Brain 64 What Side Do You Speak On? 67 An Expensive Lie Detector 71 The Intimate Brain 73 Does Free Will Exist? 76 At the Doors of Awareness 78 5The Brain Probed through Water Molecules 82 Einstein's Visions 84 NMR Sensitive to Diffusion 86 From NMR to MRI: Diffusion ... Confusion 87 Diffusion and Cancer 90 Mike's Other Discovery 93 White Matter Takes On Colors 95 An Asynchronous Brain 99 6Water: Molecule of the Mind? 104 The Firefighters Arrive a Bit Late 104 Swelling Neurons 106 Two Types of Water 109 104.5 Degrees: The Angle of Life 111 Protons Play Leapfrog 114 The Tribulations of Water in Cells 115 A Dance of Spines 118 Mechanical Neurons 121 7The Crystal Brain 125 Enter the Nanoparticles 126 Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen 129 MRI of the Extreme 133 An Exceptional Instrument for an Exceptional Organ 137 The Birth of NeuroSpin 141 Safety Above All 143 Conquering the Brain 147 In Search of a Neural Code? 150 References 153 Figure Credits 161 Index 163