Vital Models

Vital Models

The Making and Use of Models in the Brain Sciences

1st Edition - August 12, 2017

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  • Editors: Tara Mahfoud, Sam McLean, Nikolas Rose
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128042151
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128125588

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The use of models has been important to the historical and contemporary study of the human brain, yet very little study by social scientists has been dedicated to how the brain sciences develop and use models to better understand what brains are and how they work, including the complex entanglements between brains, bodies and their environments. Vital Models: The Making and Use of Models in the Brain Sciences explores the history and use of brain models from clinical psychiatry to psychopharmacology and cybernetics, as well as developments in digital brain modeling, simulation, imaging and connectomics. This timely volume helps both scientists and students better understand the variety, strengths, weaknesses and applicability of models in neuroscience.

Key Features

  • Presents a timely update on the topic of brain research and modeling techniques
  • Contains sections from true authorities in the field


Researchers and students of anthropology of science, science and technology studies, history of science, philosophy of science, cognitive neuroscience, and computational neuroscience

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    Tara Mahfoud, Sam McLean and Nikolas Rose
    1. Vital brains: On the entanglement of media, minds, and models
    Cornelius Borck
    2. Slicing the cortex to study mental illness: Alois Alzheimer’s pictures of equivalence
    Lara Keuck
    3. Opaque models: Using drugs and dreams to explore the neurobiological basis of mental phenomena
    Nicolas Langlitz
    4. Man not a machine: models, minds, and mental labor, c.1980
    Max Stadler
    5. Infrastructural intelligence: Contemporary entanglements of neuroscience and AI
    Johannes Bruder
    6. Learning from large-scale neural simulations
    Maria Serban
    7. Connectomes as constitutively epistemic objects: critical perspectives on modeling in current neuroanatomy
    Philipp Haueis, Jan Slaby
    8. Bridging the gap between system and cell: The role of ultra-high field MRI in human neuroscience
    Robert Turner, Daniel De Haan

Product details

  • No. of pages: 246
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: August 12, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128042151
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128125588

About the Serial Volume Editors

Tara Mahfoud

Tara Mahfoud is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine. She has a Masters degree in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Bachelors degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the American University of Beirut. Her dissertation is an ethnography of brain modeling and simulation in the European Union’s Human Brain Project.

Affiliations and Expertise

King's College London, UK

Sam McLean

Sam McLean is a Teaching Fellow and PhD student in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. His work is rooted in the history of philosophy and life science. He is currently working on an ontological history of addiction and memory in addiction neuroscience, and a history of passion and knowledge in European intellectual culture.

Affiliations and Expertise

King's College London, UK

Nikolas Rose

Nikolas Rose
Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London. His work explores how scientific developments have changed conceptions of human identity and governance and what this means for our political, socio-economic and legal futures. Rose is a Co-director of the Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI), a major research collaboration between King’s and Imperial College London. A member of numerous advisory groups engaging key stakeholders, he has also held high-level academic posts in LSE and at Goldsmiths. Trained as a biologist, a psychologist and a sociologist, Rose co-founded two influential radical journals in the 1970s and 1980s, playing a key role in introducing French post-structuralist critical thought to an English speaking audience and helping develop new approaches to political analysis and strategy. He has published widely across numerous fields and disciplines, with work translated into 13 languages. He is a former Managing Editor of Economy and Society and Joint Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary journal, BioSocieties.

Affiliations and Expertise

King's College London, UK

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