Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Scientists and Dead Fish

Over at The Last Psychiatrist today there is a good post called "The Problem With Science Is Scientists" -
In a recent fMRI study, a salmon was shown a series of pictures of human faces showing various emotions: can a salmon distinguish them? and what brain regions are involved. 15 pictures, ten seconds each.

I won't bore you with the anatomy. Because of the small size of the brain, exact brain structures could not be distinguished, but something in the brain did light up. A statistically significant number of voxels, comprising an area of 81mm3 in the midline of the brain, were active (p<.0001).

So can fish interpret human emotions from a picture? I have no idea. I do know, however, that that fish can't do it: it was dead.
It is definitely worth the time, so go read the rest of it.

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