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The Elusive BrainLiterary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience$
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Jason Tougaw

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300221176

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300221176.001.0001

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Interlude: Neurodiversity in the Age of the Brain Atlas

Interlude: Neurodiversity in the Age of the Brain Atlas

(p.65) Interlude: Neurodiversity in the Age of the Brain Atlas
The Elusive Brain

Jason Tougaw

Yale University Press

In this interlude, Tougaw examines two major cultural responses to advances in neuroscience: neurodiversity politics and the U.S.-European race to “map” the brain in the hope of creating a dynamic digital “brain atlas.” While neurodiversity activists emphasize the difference from one human brain to another, the brain atlas projects aim to create a composite of the human brain. The interlude examines the inevitable contradictions that arise from both points of view, arguing that both are valuable but that neurodiversity politics and scientific efforts to map the composite brain would benefit from more mutual dialogue.

Keywords:   Neurodiversity, brain atlas, Human Brain Project, U.S. Human Brain Initiative

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