Book 6: Sex, Lies and brain scan; Barbara J Sahakian and Julia Gottwald

I have always been fascinated, mesmerised and humbled by neurology as a science. Perhaps, one straight forward reason for my awe of Medical Genetics is that, a good percentage of patients I see regularly in Genetics clinic have neurological symptoms which I try to interpret and evaluate. I remember what I read in a book by Dr VS Ramachandran about human brain being an interesting organ because it is the only organ which is capable of thinking about its own origin. The thought and the thinker are the same when it comes to brain. When I saw this title, I didn’t have to think twice to order because it dealt with a fascinating arena in neuroscience. The authors, Barbara J Sahakian and Julia Gottwald are neuroscientists in University of Cambridge and experts in neuro- ethics, neuropsychiatry and neuroimaging. They have attempted to simplify the concept of functional MRI so that non medical people can also read and comprehend the concepts behind the usage of functional MRI in discerning the functions of human brain. The book also gives an idea about the prospects of using functional MRI in detecting and predicting crime and usage of the same as evidence in a court of law. The authors provide a brief overview of the ethical issues that can emerge as the popularity of functional MRI increases. The content of the book is intriguing for any one interested in understanding the newer frontiers in neuroscience.The possibilities of using functional MRI and the potential pitfalls are well described in this book. Modification in narration style would have made this book public friendly and readable. The book ends with a note that with advances in technology more benefits of functional MRI can be reaped.

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