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High-Technology Advances Spur Progress In Study Of Human Brain

Augmenting old devices and procedures with the latest computer-based techniques yields new opportunities for today's neuroscientist ST. LOUIS--In 1984, five fighter pilots spent three days hooked up to one of the world's most sophisticated machines for probing the brain's electrical impulses. But it was only last month that San Francisco neuroscientist Alan Gevins presented his results from that experiment. The project, hailed by colleagues as a synthesis of various research techniques, was a

Elizabeth Pennisi
Augmenting old devices and procedures with the latest computer-based techniques yields new opportunities for today's neuroscientist
ST. LOUIS--In 1984, five fighter pilots spent three days hooked up to one of the world's most sophisticated machines for probing the brain's electrical impulses. But it was only last month that San Francisco neuroscientist Alan Gevins presented his results from that experiment.

The project, hailed by colleagues as a synthesis of various research techniques, was an attempt to study cognition by combining mathematical modeling, computer graphics, signal processing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electroencephalography, or EEG recording. "His work represents the direction that brain science is going, and he represents the forefront," say Richard Dasheiff, director of the University of Pittsburgh Epilepsy Center. Yet the fact that it took Gevins six years is also an indication of how much further the field needs to advance to make efficient use of the available technologies....

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