Novel imaging techniques are making it possible to study the brain while it’s at work. These new, non-invasive tools – representing significant advances related to positron emission tomography (PET), 3-D microscopy and the use of magnetic fields and nanoparticles to remotely control targeted cells – permit the real-time study of neural activity in unprecedented detail.
Faulty brain functioning clearly can influence behavior, but the links between morality and the physical brain are much harder to pin down.
The promise of neuroscience for treating brain disorders is real, experts said at AAAS. So are questions about how these advances are used in court and preventive medicine, and about how quickly research is translated into help for patients.
Neuroscience is poised to accelerate, with the launch of two large collaborations, but these projects will require dedicated funding and coordination to be successful, AAAS CEO Alan Leshner and others told a House subcommittee.
Research on Mapping the Mind of the Mating Male Wins 2013 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, Supported by The Fodor Family Trust