This chapter examines the use of brain imaging as an artifact of power that reifies norms of gender, illness and aging. Medical imaging mimics an unconditional visuality despite often displaying a translation of non-visual data. Once the image becomes reified, power is transferred from the gazer to the producers of the image. Male and female brains solidify gender categories despite individual and cultural variation. Questioning the epistemological authority of medical imaging is not to deny the usefulness of these images but merely recognizes the persuasive power these images hold.
Alexander I. Stingl is a member of the research faculty with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University, Philadelphia. He is also a visiting, collaborating, and consulting researcher with the Social Science Faculty of the University of Kassel, the Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, the Institute for General Medicine, and University Clinic Erlangen-Nuernberg and is contract instructor at Leuphana University Lueneburg. He has written and co-authored books, chapters, and articles in science and technology studies, sociology, philosophy, media archeology, history of science, and cultural analysis. His most recent publication, co-authored with Sabrina M. Weiss and Sal Restivo, is Worlds of ScienceCraft (2014). His new book, The Digital Coloniality of Power, is forthcoming in 2015. Under the umbrella frame of the “political and historical ontology of biodigital citizenship,” he is presently working on nearly a dozen different research projects on the body, biomedicine, digital culture, decoloniality, radical Otherness, transmediality, nomadic statehood, semantic agency, and radical democracy.