These emails are part of an exchange between Assadi, a mathematician interested in imaging algorithms, and Sokoloff, regarding
the possibility of Assadi doing some work in a neuroscience imaging lab. Sokoloff commented on the lack of scientific rigor
in recent studies using functional MRI scanning.
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Number of Image Pages:
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1999-11-08 (November 8, 1999)
National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.)
Assadi, Amir H.
University of Wisconsin
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Positron Emission Tomography Scanning and Beyond, 1979-2004
EMail from Amir H. Assadi to Louis Sokoloff (March 9, 2000)
EMail from Louis Sokoloff to Amir H. Assadi [ca. March 2000]
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 5
November 8, 1999
Sorry to hear about your health problems and that you will not be able to visit us as planned. There are now so many effective
pharmacological agents intervening at different levels that I thought was no longer a major medical problem. I know of a number
of people, myself included, in which is completely under control with a variety of drugs. I hope the same will be true with
Your description of your interest and some of your ideas has indicated to me that we do have much to talk about and that we
will be able to reschedule your visit soon. December is not a good time for me because I have to be in Germany during the
first 2 weeks and then have some commitments after my return. The week of January 9 is entirely open.
Your comments on fMRI are entirely in accord with ours. We share the same reservations. Although our Laboratory pioneered
the use of functional brain mapping on the basis of changes in energy metabolism and/or blood flow, we are embarrassed at
how the field is being abused by descriptive methods that produce signals the relationship of which to some physiological
function is still obscure. I am a firm believer in Lord Kelvin's statement, "If you cannot describe it in numbers,
your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind," but currently in the field of functional brain imaging, there
appears to be little appreciation of quantitative measurements of defined physiological processes. All they care about is
where in the brain they find a colored spot and not why. Maybe this is because the field is now so heavily invaded by psychologists
rather than real scientists. In any case, we still adhere to model development and evaluation, and I believe that we do have
things to discuss.
In the meantime, we are sending out today the reprints that you requested. If you are interested in any others, please let
Best regards and best wishes for a speedy recovery.