“Brain imaging studies seem so simple and elegant: Hook someone up to a functional MRI (fMRI) machine, which measures blood flow; see which parts of the brain light up; and identify regions associated with love, rejection, etc. But in a forthcoming paper [pdf], psychologist Hal Pashler of the University of California at San Diego and his colleagues challenge the validity of broad claims that come from these studies. The authors charge that shoddy statistics and noisy measurements are leading to gross overestimations of the correlation between brain activity and emotions.” Pugnacious

The omniscient erudite and eloquent maharishi emeritus el Loco Gringo will break this down so you don’t have to read the entire report. There, wasn’t that easy? However, eLG is grudgingly forced to admit that even an idiot can come up with relevant data. This is a really good gif file that shows pathways. As to the problem, the brain is a chemical computer, so the electrical flashes they are seeing is the result, not the cause. IE, a side-effect of what’s happening. Also, It only shows the electrical activity at the axon (perception) level, which may be fairly accurate, but the activity at the dendrite (logic) level is questionable, which is what the paper is alluding to. I wonder if they’ve identified the “idiot center”?. Now that I’d be interested in. This is what Big Al was referring to “building accident upon accident”

Below: White matter fiber tracking derived from Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). The paths of fibers passing through the corpus callosum were tracked. Red represents fibers running primarily left/right. Blue is up/down, and green is front/back.

I was thinking when reading Mr Sid’s Chemistry of love of what happens when the drugs wear off. Wake up at 3 AM look at your sleeping spouse and wonder “what was I thinking?”

Missouri ChemistryOfLove Pugnacious

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