Nancy Kanwisher a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology uses a brain imaging method called fMRI to study the human brain. Professor Kanwisher studies the brain partly by exploring her own. She’s spent countless hours in a fMRI scanner, mapping her own brain to gain insight into what makes us human.
In her latest Neuroanatomy Lesson for her Nancy’s Brain Talks site, Professor Kanwisher, along with the help of neuro artist and grad student Rosa Lafer-Sousa, goes to the extreme to explain “where in the head some of the functionally specific brain regions lie.”
“It is hard to tell [what the different regions are] with all this hair in the way so let’s take care of that.”
Taking risks on camera to teach people about the different methods of studying the brain isn’t a new tactic for the Professor. Last year, she had her brain zapped with transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method used to stimulate small regions of the brain.
In a recent interview, Professor Kanwisher explains her extreme method of teaching, “Science is an adventure. Shaving your head is kind of an adventure. To be an effective science teacher, you need to have a theatrical bent. It was fun. It grows back. Who cares?”
Best. Teacher. Ever.
For more check out Nancy’s Brain Talks, you do not need any background in the field to understand the lessons and for an overall introduction, watch her recent TED talk.