Imaging Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder: How Visual Hermeneutics can Shed Light on an Inter-Disciplinary Controversy
Brain imaging technology is central to current research on Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), one of the most controversial disorders in the field of bio-psychiatry for its association with stimulant use among children. The influence of the pharmaceutical industry on U.S. neuroscience has even led to questions about the ethical integrity of ADHD researchers. This article enters into the ADHD controversy by investigating the internal practices and debates of neuroscientists themselves concerning major ADHD studies and the images they have produced. Philosophy of Technology provides a crucial bridge between a skeptical public that has little knowledge of actual scientific practice and laboratory scientists who are often at odds about what can be “read” from the technologies they use. Don Ihde’s visual hermeneutics of indirect imaging procedures offers an invaluable resource for clarifying current debates surrounding brain images of ADHD and the conclusions that have been drawn from the technologies involved.
Keywords: Neuro-Imaging, Bio-Technology, Bio-Psychiatry, ADHD, Visual Hermeneutics, Ihde
Doctorate Candidate, Department of Philosophy, Stony Brook University