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Handling Digital Brains
Author: Morana Alac

ISBN: 9780262015684
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 218
Published: 7 April 2011
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.0

The results of fMRI brain scanning require extensive analysis in the laboratory. In Handling Digital Brains, Morana Alac shows that fMRI researchers do not sit passively staring at computer screens but actively involve their bodies in laboratory practice. Discussing fMRI visuals with colleagues, scientists animate the scans with gestures, and talk as they work with computers. Alac argues that to understand how digital scientific visuals take on meaning we must consider their dynamic coordination with gesture, speech, and working hands. These multimodal actions, she suggests, are an essential component of digital scientific visuals. A semiotician trained in cognitive science, Alac grounds her discussion in concepts from Peirce's semiotics and her methodology in ethnography and multimodal conversation analysis. Basing her observations on videotaped records of activity in three fMRI research labs, Alac describes scientists' manual engagement with digital visuals of the human brain. Doing so, ...

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