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Neuronal Fantasies : Reading Neuroscience with Schreber

Liljefors, Max LU (2012) In The Atomized Body. The Cultural Life of Stem Cells, Genes and Neurons p.143-169
Abstract
This essay examines the aesthetics and rhetoric through which popular science delivers the message of brain-mind conflation—‘You are your brain’. Noting the entwinement of realist and imaginary visual tropes in popular scientific presentations of brain imaging, author seeks a correlative ‘counter-text’ to this discourse in one of the classic texts in psychiatric history, the memoirs of the paranoid nineteenth-century judge, Daniel Paul Schreber. In this juxtaposition of contemporary neuroscience and a century-old insider report from madness, the author sees two opposite fantasies about the biologization of the mind. In the end, Schreber’s is deemed the most ‘realist’, since his delusions highlight precisely the blind spots of popular... (More)
This essay examines the aesthetics and rhetoric through which popular science delivers the message of brain-mind conflation—‘You are your brain’. Noting the entwinement of realist and imaginary visual tropes in popular scientific presentations of brain imaging, author seeks a correlative ‘counter-text’ to this discourse in one of the classic texts in psychiatric history, the memoirs of the paranoid nineteenth-century judge, Daniel Paul Schreber. In this juxtaposition of contemporary neuroscience and a century-old insider report from madness, the author sees two opposite fantasies about the biologization of the mind. In the end, Schreber’s is deemed the most ‘realist’, since his delusions highlight precisely the blind spots of popular neuroscience today, especially the eclipse of societal, collective meaning in strictly biologistic explanations of the mind. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Schreber, brain science, visualization, art history, scientific visualization
in
The Atomized Body. The Cultural Life of Stem Cells, Genes and Neurons
editor
Max, Liljefors; Susanne, Lundin and Andréa, Wiszmeg
pages
143 - 169
publisher
Nordic Academic Press
ISBN
978-91-87121-92-0
project
BAGADILICO – Excellence in Parkinson and Huntington Research
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ee5b1ecb-0097-4d79-bfc4-410d32e1b6b8 (old id 3405023)
date added to LUP
2013-01-22 08:55:55
date last changed
2016-04-16 07:27:03
@inbook{ee5b1ecb-0097-4d79-bfc4-410d32e1b6b8,
  abstract     = {This essay examines the aesthetics and rhetoric through which popular science delivers the message of brain-mind conflation—‘You are your brain’. Noting the entwinement of realist and imaginary visual tropes in popular scientific presentations of brain imaging, author seeks a correlative ‘counter-text’ to this discourse in one of the classic texts in psychiatric history, the memoirs of the paranoid nineteenth-century judge, Daniel Paul Schreber. In this juxtaposition of contemporary neuroscience and a century-old insider report from madness, the author sees two opposite fantasies about the biologization of the mind. In the end, Schreber’s is deemed the most ‘realist’, since his delusions highlight precisely the blind spots of popular neuroscience today, especially the eclipse of societal, collective meaning in strictly biologistic explanations of the mind.},
  author       = {Liljefors, Max},
  editor       = {Max, Liljefors and Susanne, Lundin and Andréa, Wiszmeg},
  isbn         = {978-91-87121-92-0},
  keyword      = {Schreber,brain science,visualization,art history,scientific visualization},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {143--169},
  publisher    = {Nordic Academic Press},
  series       = {The Atomized Body. The Cultural Life of Stem Cells, Genes and Neurons},
  title        = {Neuronal Fantasies : Reading Neuroscience with Schreber},
  year         = {2012},
}