Okay, I'll admit I fell for it too. At the ESOF stand for the Swedish Research Council (SRC), nifty "MRI helments"--that's what the stand staff calls them--are stealing the show. Put one on, tighten the strap, then look into the mirror to see a real-time scan of your brain, superimposed over the mirror image of your head. Turn around, walk a few steps; your brain moves right along!
Everbody is fascinated. "Can you also see how somebody feels? Whether they're happy or sad?" one woman asks.
But wait a minute... MRI scanners are big machines with giant magnets inside. Who built that into a simple bike helmet?
Nobody did, the research council's Emilie von Essen admits. MRI helmets don't exist; that thing you're wearing with the weird antenna doesn't do anything, and that's somebody else's brain in the mirror, cleverly projected over your astonished face. It's just a way of getting people interested in brain science, von Essen says -- and I guess it works. But can you still call it science education when you're showing people science that doesn't exist?