Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity
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Picturing Personhood by Joseph Dumit
Book DescriptionBy showing us the human brain at work, PET (positron emission tomography) scans are subtly--and sometimes not so subtly--transforming how we think about our minds. Picturing Personhood follows this remarkable and expensive technology from the laboratory into the world and back. It examines how PET scans are created and how they are being called on to answer myriad questions with far-reaching implications: Is depression an observable brain disease? Are criminals insane? Do men and women think differently? Is rationality a function of the brain? Based on interviews, media analysis, and participant observation at research labs and conferences, Joseph Dumit analyzes how assumptions designed into and read out of the experimental process reinforce specific notions about human nature. Such assumptions can enter the process at any turn, from selecting subjects and mathematical models to deciding which images to publish and how to color them. Once they leave the laboratory, PET scans shape social debates, influence courtroom outcomes, and have positive and negative consequences for people suffering mental illness. Dumit follows this complex story, demonstrating how brain scans, as scientific objects, contribute to our increasing social dependence on scientific authority. The first book to examine the cultural ramifications of brain-imaging technology, Picturing Personhood is an unprecedented study that will influence both cultural studies and the growing field of science and technology studies.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691113982
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 15-Dec-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Joseph Dumit
Tactical Biopolitics, Paperback (September 2010)
Scientists, scholars, and artists consider the political significance of recent advances in the biological sciences.
Biomedicine as Culture, Paperback (June 2010)
Offers interdisciplinary perspectives on contemporary biomedicine as a cultural practice. This book brings together leading scholars from cultural anthropology, sociology, history, and science studies to conduct a critical dialogue on the culture(s) of biomedical practice, discussing its epistemic, material, and social implications.
Cyborg Babies, Paperback (September 1998)» View all books by Joseph Dumit
Explores the increasingly pervasive role of technology in childrens lives, from conception to birth to childcare. The text argues that in aspects of childhood from foetuses scanned electronically to wired toddlers, children are being rendered cyborg by their immersion in technoculture.
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Author Biography - Joseph Dumit
Joseph Dumit is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science & Technology Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a coeditor of "Cyborgs & Citadels" and "Cyborg Babies" and Associate Editor of the journal "Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry".
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