Ignoble Research

While my so-called 'real' publications are limping along, one of my side-projects got published in this month's Annals of Improbable Research. A journal that is self-styled as " the journal of record for inflated research and personalities" . These are the good folks who dish out the Ig Noble Prizes each year

For the past three years, at the Society for Neuroscience conference my labmates and I present a 'joke' poster in the vein of The Onion. The Cingulate Cortex Does Everything started off as a satire on the field of fMRI research in neuroscience. There are tons of papers in journals like Nature and Science that implicate the cingulate cortex in all kinds of behavior. Brain fMRI scans detect oxygenation levels in the blood and determine if blood flow to particular part of the brain increases or decreases with respect to a behavioral event. It seemed rather interesting to us that the use of fMRI correlates so strongly with cingulate cortex sightings. We suspect that since the cingulate cortex is above the saggital sinus, a major drainage vessel for the brain, it seems to light up in fMRI studies as an artifact.

On scanning recent literature on the subject, we saw an explosion in cingulate cortex research and reached our startling conclusion - "Cingularity", i.e. if current trends continue the cingulate cortex will not only take over neuroscience research, but everything!!

Another interesting fact is that the word cingulate is derived from the Latin word cingulum meaning belt. Specifically, a belt protecting your family jewels.


mekhala said...

Woohoo! For this distinguished work, the grateful citizens of the world present you with the Ordre de la Santé publique and Ordre du Mérite du Travail.

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