Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New life for the old EEG?

A couple of Toronto doctors say yes, that they can make it worth more than fMRIs, PET scans, etc.

Two Toronto doctors are claiming to have written software to generate real-time 3D brain images from the venerable EEG. Let's stay tuned!
One significant advantage of the Doidge/Mocanu invention – dubbed dynamic electrical cortical imaging (DECI) – is speed. Other imaging technologies snap pictures of the brain once every few seconds. DECI takes visual impressions less than 1/1,000 of a second apart – in virtual real-time.
If this bears up, maybe neuroscience moves out of the Neolithic, or Early Bronze Age, or whatever.

That said, Dr. Mark Doidge is, as the story notes, brother to writer and psychiatrist Norman Doidge, author of the bestselling "The Brain That Changes Itself." I'm not saying that that gives his research an edge, but it may.

On the other hand, I find it hard to believe this will add much to neuroscience. And, why can't similar software improve CTs or PET scans? And, given that the biggest complaint on Amazon about Norman Doidge's book is that he fills pages with sales and marketing "pushes" of often costly programs and treatments that will allegedly boost brain plasticity, we might want to be skeptical about the Toronto doctors' findings for other reasons. Can anyone give me an "Amen," as in Dr. Daniel Amen, and his overblown claims about single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)?

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