• Question: Does looking at brain scans ever get boring for you?

    Asked by swhawking to Sarah, Sam, Rohan, Nayeli on 21 Sep 2017.
    • Photo: Sarah Finnegan

      Sarah Finnegan answered on 21 Sep 2017:

      Never! I think because everyones brain is really different and when I meet my participants I try to guess what the brain will look like. I also play a game of guessing whether a brain scan is a man or a woman. The other thing I find amazing is sometimes you meet people who are living totally normally and then you look at their brain and you think wow, there are so many holes in this brain, how are they so normal!

    • Photo: Sam Parsons

      Sam Parsons answered on 21 Sep 2017:

      I echo Sarah’s answer, but with one exception. I don’t work with brain imaging myself, so my answer is slightly from an outsiders perspective. So, we can learn loads from brain imaging techniques, and thats great. But there are times where I have read a paper and didn’t see the reason to include fMRI for example, or have thought that they really overstate their conclusions. In short, brain scans are awesome, but they are super valuable and we need to use them where we will get the most out of them 🙂

      great question

    • Photo: Rohan Kapitany

      Rohan Kapitany answered on 22 Sep 2017:

      I don’t look really look at brain scans, but sometimes I build simulations of brains in computers and then see if they behave like something in real life. My particular technique is called ‘agent based modelling’, and it involves giving small brains (in the form of sets of rules) to ‘agents’ who interact with each other. This is so much fun, and incredibly useful for my work. Once you develop some basic skills, you can even treat it like a game, or like art. (Sometimes, I have an idea, and just work on it all weekend, and it has nothing to do with my research at all).

    • Photo: Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez

      Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez answered on 27 Sep 2017:

      I don’t really look at brain scans as part of my research. But I think that until we can fully understand how the brain works, it would be always interesting to see a brain working.