Nature

, you might have been momentarily forgiven for thinking you were reading a celebrity magazine.

Karen Heyman
Jul 17, 2005
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If you perused the June 23 issue of Nature, you might have been momentarily forgiven for thinking you were reading a celebrity magazine. There, on page 1104, were photos of Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, and Julia Roberts. But the story of how those photos – accompanying a Letter on neuroscience – appeared at all are an instructive lesson in how Hollywood and science interact.

The research by Rodrigo Quiroga of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and colleagues in California found neurons that fired to images of Berry and other famous faces and places. It might have appeared almost a month earlier, except for the difficulty the authors had in obtaining permission to use the stars' photographs. After fruitlessly trying to explain to the stars' representatives just what it was they needed these pictures for, they finally had to resort to an image bank. "It was really...