Brain area for empty news stories discovered

Satirical website Newsbiscuit has a cutting article making fun of the regular ‘brain scans show…’ news items that are a staple of the popular science pages.

Scientists are heralding a breakthrough in brain scan technology after a team at Oxford University produced full colour images of a human brain that shows nothing of any significance.

‘This is an amazing discovery’, said leading neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield, ‘the pictures tell us nothing about how the brain works, provide us with no insights into the nature of human consciousness, and all with such lovely colours.’…

The development, which has been widely reported around the world, is also significant because it allows journalists to publish big fancy pictures of the brain that look really impressive while having little or no explanatory value.

‘These scans are fantastic,’ said Lawrence McGinty, Science Editor for ITV News, ‘not only are they bright and colourful but the graphics department have even converted them into 3D and can make them spin around the screen while I stand in front waving my hands about. None of this helps to explain anything, but it does it so much better the old black and white pictures. They were rubbish.’


Link to ‘New brain scan reveals nothing at all’ (via @michaelmeadon).


  1. Michael Woelk
    Posted February 17, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I laughed out loud when I read this part: “(…) The scans were also welcomed by neurologist Professor Oliver Sacks, best-selling author of The Man Who Mistook his Brain Scan for a News Story. (…)” – very funny article indeed.

  2. Posted February 17, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Hehe… good one. Who cares about the explanatory value… as long as it looks good and emits scientific authority.

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Oh! In view of references yet again to neurology, you may enjoy this. […]

  2. […] good laugh will help you sleep: Brain area for empty news stories […]

  3. […] Last call: Pop science not quite too stupid to parody properly?February 17, 2011A good laugh will help you sleep: Brain area for empty news stories […]

  4. […] Read the rest of the Article, HERE. […]

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