Those brain images…

Featured image apparently put together by

Featured image apparently put together by “deliciousmgc”

Yet again, there was a post in one of the facebook groups I follow that drew a lot of dismissive comments about ADHD and other disorders.

First of all: I get that this image conveys very little information. There is no source telling us who produced the images, how they did it, or why. I also know about that dead salmon fMRI scan that pretty much told everyone never to trust an image of a brain.

But I have spent a considerable amount of time reading up on ADHD, and despite not holding any high and mighty degrees in neurology, I had a pretty good idea that this image showed the response of some kind of positive stimuli on a collated “normal” and a collated “ADHD” brain.

Other group members kept dismissing the notion that an image such as this can be important as a way to make people take notice and start thinking, perhaps even doing a bit of research instead of just claiming ADHD does not exist (or something similarly ludicrous). I knew it was not very difficult to find valid research on the topic, and provided several links to research papers that I cannot even read due to paywalls, but the sheer number of published and peer reviewed studies should be sufficient to prove that this disorder really IS real, and also very well studied.

I was asked ” why not provide a link that describes the basics of brain scans, or even just fMRI, describing how they are obtained, calculated, interpreted?”, so I provided this link:…/Brain%20Imag/readings/uludag.pdf

That elicited two responses that I still find it difficult to process (yes, emotional overexcitability):

Everyones becoming ‘fake’ experts because they find something on the web that sounds clever.
In their mind, this effectively reduces real experts to nothing more than ‘colleagues’ they believe on a ‘similar’ level. It artificially reduces the gap between ‘expert’ and ‘novice’. Combine this with mass access and this will cause a lot of real problems for all sciences in the future. . .


Basic Principles of fMRI – yes, although that’s probably more detail than a novice would want to deal with. I was thinking more along these lines:…

There it was: the dead salmon…

So I took the bait, and dug up the real stuff. Below are two links. The first is to the study that the image originates from, published by the New England Journal of Medicine on November 15th, 1990, and the other to a review of functional neuroimaging of ADHD published in Biological Psychiatry in 2005.

Cerebral Glucose Metabolism in Adults with Hyperactivity of Childhood Onset


Functional Neuroimaging of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: A Review and Suggested Future Directions



Now you can access the sources and make up your own mind. Because you deserve it!


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