Caught Between Fact and Fiction
Judy is lying in a medical magnetic resonance image (MRI) scanner. You know—the body-sized tube that’s actually a cylindrical magnet coupled to a very high power computer. She lies quietly on her back—as she was asked—and feels no particular discomfort in the cramped cavity. The scanner is often used to image subtle changes in blood flow to detect injured tissues in a knee, shoulder, or elsewhere. But today, it’s recording blood flow in Judy’s brain—while she’s playing a video game.
It is the simplest of games. There are two different colored dots on a screen that she views in a mirror above her eyes (because the screen won’t work inside the 30,000-gauss magnet). Her right hand is on a joystick, ...