Functional imaging of the human brain: myths and painful truths


Monday 12 March 2018, 18h00


Institut d'études avancées de Paris, Hôtel de Lauzun, 17 quai d'Anjou 75004 Paris
Functional imaging of the human brain: myths and painful truths

Conférence de Giandomenico Iannetti (résident 2016-2017 et 2017-2018 de l'IEA de Paris) dans le cadre de la 20e édition de la Semaine du Cerveau


Cognitive neuroscience has increasingly used non-invasive functional brain imaging, finding practical applications with real-world consequences. Yet, these approaches are fraught with interpretive difficulties. This lecture will highlight some common and troublesome problems in how researchers draw conclusions from their results, using examples from the neuroscience of pain, threat detection and body defence.
I will suggest that the dominant view that the brain responses caused by painful stimuli can be used to infer that an individual is in pain, or to build models of where and how painful percepts are generated in the brain, is incorrect. Instead, the largest part of these brain responses reflect a basic mechanism through which the brain detects and purposefully reacts to behaviourally-relevant sensory events, regardless of their perceptual quality.


Neurosciences et sciences cognitives
01/03/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/09/2017 - 01/07/2018