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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beauty of the Brain


Carl Schoonover, a neuroscientist in training at Columbia University, has collected intriguing images of the brain for a new book...
Alzheimer's Reading Room


Is the human brain, with all its problem-solving prowess and creative ability, powerful enough to understand itself?





Nothing in the known universe (with the exception of the universe itself) is more complex; the brain contains about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, each of which can communicate with thousands of other brain cells.

Scientists have since devised methods for determining the specific tasks in which different brain regions specialize—for example, some neurons, devoted to processing sight, detect only horizontal lines, while others sense danger or produce speech. Researchers have created maps delineating how brain regions not adjacent to one another are connected by long tracts of cellular projections called axons. The newest microscope techniques reveal neurons changing shape in response to experience—potentially recording a memory. The ability to see the brain in a fresh light has given rise to a wealth of insights in the past few decades.

Now scientists’ forays into this universe are being put to a different use—as art objects. Carl Schoonover, a neuroscientist in training at Columbia University, has collected intriguing images of the brain for a new book, Portraits of the Mind (Abrams).
“They are real data, not artists’ renditions,” he says. “This is what neuroscientists are looking at in their microscopes, MRI machines or electrophysiology systems. Neuroscience exists because of these techniques.”

To read the full text article from Smithsonian Magazine go here -- Beauty of the Brain


Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century


Portraits of the Mind:
Visualizing the Brain from
Antiquity to the 21st Century




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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room