Sunday, 10 August 2008

This Is My Brain. But Which Is My Good Side?

The week before last I had the intriguing experience of calling on a neuroscientist at her Bloomsbury laboratory, and having my brain scanned by an fMRI machine, the results of which you may see herewith.
Yes, just like in the movies, I removed all metal about my person, including my wedding ring, lay on a gurney to which I was then strapped, and was then rolled slowly by remote control into a dark and confined tubular space that consumed me as far as my chest. Then, to muted sounds rather like the pulse of monotonous machine-made 'dance' music, my brain was laboriously imaged by magnetic resonance. It was a fairly peaceful 12-minute experience, as pensive a time as I've been allowed in recent months... Admittedly my thoughts turned once or twice to William Hurt as Eddie Jessup in the movie Altered States but it was all over much quicker, and I didn't regress to a primordial state.
So what is there to be said of my brain, relatively speaking? Hardly anything. I'm told it's a fairly normal boring brain, albeit with less space in the skull cavity than a man younger than I would have - apparently that's another aspect of ageing that can't be avoided, but can also prove useful in the event of serious head injury...
Still, all in all an interesting evening's pastime, free of charge.

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