In the Image Laboratory of Neurosurgery

Jahrestagung Exzellenzcluster Bild Wissen Gestaltung. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Nov 15, 2014 (with Kathrin Friedrich, Anna Roethe, Thomas Picht)

How do images determine medical procedures and decisions? Why can it be more productive for clinical practice if a media scientist and a neurosurgeon look jointly at an MRI scan? How can the „blind spots“ in medical imaging practice be dealt with in an interdisciplinary manner and made epistemically fruitful for their respective visual understanding?
Taking as an example a typical case documentation from neurosurgical practice, fundamental stages in the course of treatment are illuminated by means of a dialog between different image practice disciplines. The physician’s diagnostic interest in the image comes up against cultural and media studies process analyses in which medical imagery itself is the focus of attention. The course of treatment is followed jointly from the patient’s first MRI scan, which is significant for the anatomical and morphological assessment, via the functional diagnosis of important brain functions, which extends the image findings  decisively, and the preoperative planning to the operating room, where the patient is treated on the basis of the images discussed. The image-critical issues and observations that arise in this process are intended to provide an insight into how different disciplinary perspectives of images can complement each other in such a way that longerterm synergies for theory and practice take shape in an »image laboratory« of this kind that also keep an eye on the usability of newer, image-guided therapies for the patient and are in the end intended to improve the quality of treatment.

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