Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 4: Neurosci+Art

I found this week's lesson on Neuroscience and Art very interesting. I took the course Psychology 10 and during lectures, I remember learning the same subjects in that class. For example, we learned about Pierre Paul Broca and about the Broca's area in the brain which is responsible for articulated language which I also learned in this week's lecture. From learning about the inner workings of the brain to understanding different psychological concepts, I never realized that art could be tied to these subjects as well.

First, Santiago Ramón y Cajal caught my attention. Cajal was known as the founder of neuroanatomy and was both a scientist and an artist. He is also considered the father of neuroscience. He is the individual who developed the "neuron theory". In my Psychology 10 class, when I look at neurons and see the connection between neurons, I saw a complex tree that left me feeling confused. However, Cajal saw it as a form of art. In fact, he "developed his artistic skills and applied his talents to drawing the architecture of the nervous system" (RobotSpaceBrain). It amazes how he could read out the connection system of neurons just by looking at them. Although the inner workings of neurons is still confusing to me, I have a newfound respect of art contributing to the science of the nervous system.

The second topic that I found fascinating was brainbow. Brainbow is the term used to describe the process by which individual neurons in the brain can be distinguished from neighboring neurons using fluorescent proteins. By simply looking at a picture of brainbow, most people would think that is a piece of art and brainbow could actually be considered as art. However, the truth is that that piece of art was created by randomly expressing different ratios of red, green, and blue derivatives of green fluorescent protein in individual neurons. Again, I see how art and science come together in the form of brainbow.

It was quite intriguing learning understanding how what I learned related to art. I have started to appreciate the stunning artwork that presents itself in science. From brainbow to neural networks to even the brain, I understand now that science and art are behind them. To me, the neuroscience is no longer just science to me, but also a work of art.

  1. Bentivoglio, Marina. "Life and Discoveries of Santiago Ramón Y Cajal." Life and Discoveries of Santiago Ramón Y Cajal. N.p., 20 Apr. 1998. Web. 16 July 2016.
  2. "Brainbow Hippocampus | Greg Dunn Design." Greg Dunn Design. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2016.
  3. "Brainbow." Center for Brain Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2016.
  4. "Broca's Area Is the Brain's Scriptwriter, Shaping Speech, Study Finds - 02/17/15." Broca's Area Is the Brain's Scriptwriter, Shaping Speech, Study Finds - 02/17/2015. N.p., 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 July 2016.
  5. "Santiago Ramón Y Cajal - Artist and Nobel Prize Winning Scientist." RobotSpaceBrain. N.p., 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 16 July 2016.
  6. Vesna, Victoria. "" YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 16 July 2016.

  1. Brooks, Katherine. "Artists' Brains Have More 'Grey Matter' Than The Rest Of Ours, Study Finds." The Huffington Post., 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 July 2016. <>
  2. Potter, Christopher. "Brainbow 101." IGTRCN. N.p., 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 July 2016. <>
  3. Fan, Shelly. "#SfN14: Art of Neuroscience, with Michele Banks." Neurorexia. N.p., 15 Nov. 2014. Web. 17 July 2016. <>
  4. "How Not to Give a Nobel Lecture." Nobel Prize Watch. N.p., 06 Dec. 2011. Web. 16 July 2016. <>

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