Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

“The Mortician Bangin’ Your Pistons…”

March 24th, 2010 · 5 Comments


Once again, thanks for your patience this week as we work through a host of deadlines. Makin’ good progress, so all should be clear starting Monday. This afternoon, though, as we grapple with a way of expressing our skepticism about fMRIs, please check out the ultra-rare Godfather Don cut above. The DJ Premier remix came blasting over our headphones this morning as we climbed the steps in Morningside Park, and it made for quite the enjoyable moment.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Jordan

    fMRI definitely has some issues. In terms of tracing glucose metabolism, I’d feel a lot more confident in PET data obtained with and FDG tracer. Unfortunately that also has its limitations, namely the cost of producing and transporting 18-F before it decays.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Jordan: The issue I’m wrestling is even dodgier: assessing whether fMRI can ever be used to match addicts to specific treatment regimens. The theory is that certain addicts may be predisposed to benefit from certain treatments, based on their neural architecture. But not sure I but that proposition.

  • Jordan

    Yeah, at this point fMRI data alone wouldn’t get you anything more than correlation. It might be a useful diagnostic tool some day, but that won’t be until they have the underlying biochemistry worked out and can show a direct relationship between the various levels of regulation and structure. And given our rather woefully inadequate understanding of how the mind works, it’s going to be a while until we can get to that point.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Jordan: Ah, yes–“correlation does not equal causation.” The bane of journalists everywhere. How many times has that truism wrecked what seemed like an excellent yarn? Too many to count.

  • Jordan

    But they’re so easy to write…

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