Picturing Personhood Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity

ISBN-10: 069111398X
ISBN-13: 9780691113982
Edition: 2004
Authors: Joseph Dumit
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Description: By showing us the human brain at work, PET (positron emission tomography) scans are subtly--and sometimes not so subtly--transforming how we think about our minds.Picturing Personhoodfollows this remarkable and expensive technology from the  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 1/4/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

By showing us the human brain at work, PET (positron emission tomography) scans are subtly--and sometimes not so subtly--transforming how we think about our minds.Picturing Personhoodfollows this remarkable and expensive technology from the laboratory into the world and back. It examines how PET scans are created and how they are being called on to answer myriad questions with far-reaching implications: Is depression an observable brain disease? Are criminals insane? Do men and women think differently? Is rationality a function of the brain? Based on interviews, media analysis, and participant observation at research labs and conferences, Joseph Dumit analyzes how assumptions designed into and read out of the experimental process reinforce specific notions about human nature. Such assumptions can enter the process at any turn, from selecting subjects and mathematical models to deciding which images to publish and how to color them. Once they leave the laboratory, PET scans shape social debates, influence courtroom outcomes, and have positive and negative consequences for people suffering mental illness. Dumit follows this complex story, demonstrating how brain scans, as scientific objects, contribute to our increasing social dependence on scientific authority. The first book to examine the cultural ramifications of brain-imaging technology,Picturing Personhoodis an unprecedented study that will influence both cultural studies and the growing field of science and technology studies.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Interlude
Thinking about Reading
Metaphors, Histories, and Visions of PET
Interlude
Reading Function
Producing Brain Images of Mind
Interlude
Who Can Read Other Minds?
Ways of Seeing Brains as Expert Images
Interlude
Reading into Images
Traveling Images, Popularizing Brains
Interlude
Living One's Images
Conclusion: Here Is a PET Image of a Person that Shows Depression
Notes
Bibliography
Index of Names
General Index

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