Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is brain research brain dead?

For the last months, I have the impression that research relying on brain imaging technology has come to a standstill. No new articles, no new ideas. I find this lack of articles a bit strange, because many different teams are working on experiments, like groups around Ingham, Neumann, Sommer, NIH, and surely others.

Have they hit the complexity wall and are unable to get publishable results? It is pretty straightforward to let stutters speak or stutter in a scanner, look at their brain activities, and detect which brain regions are consistently under or over-activated within people who stutter but not in comparison to fluent people. They have seen differences in activation and structure, on which I have widely written.

However, this epoch is over, and the new theme must be to create experiments driven by theories. Create a theory, create an experimental setup to test the theory, and do the experiment. Such research requires much much more intellectual and theoretical work, as you need to know a lot about stuttering itself and past research.

Another reason is increased complexity. The first order effects have been studied, i.e. put them in a scans and look at the scans, but the second order effects like what is going on functionally is much much more complex, because different stutterers do different things, there might be 2-3 subgroups, stuttering fluctuates, too many interactions between brain regions, not all studies found the same regions and so on.

1 comment:

saedabaid said...

im stutter and you cant imagine how is my life..im too tired and everyday crying..i cant stand more
this problem must have Amedicine
i dont think this problem is more complexity than cancer,and the cancer had Amedicine
pls just try everyday to find amidicine for the stuttering through making researches and scanning on the brain.