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Arts and Culture

Beauty and the Brain

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Posted on Nov 29, 2010
nytimes.com

Blue brains: An image from Carl Schoonover’s new book takes an aesthetically enhanced look at its subject.

How’s this for a mental image? In an effort to make our synapses sexier to the general public, one enterprising neuroscience aficionado and Ph.D.-to-be cooked up a book of pretty pictures of the human brain as rendered from past to present.  —KA

The New York Times:

Mr. Schoonover, 27, is midway through a Ph.D. program in neuroscience at Columbia, and thought he would try to find a different hook. He decided to draw the general reader into his subject with the sheer beauty of its images.

So he has compiled them into a glossy new art book. “Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain From Antiquity to the 21st Century,” newly published by Abrams, includes short essays by prominent neuroscientists and long captions by Mr. Schoonover — but its words take second place to the gorgeous imagery, from the first delicate depictions of neurons sketched in prim Victorian black and white to the giant Technicolor splashes the same structures make across 21st-century LED screens.

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By georgieff g, December 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

no bad for cute brain pic researches

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By NYCartist, November 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

PET scans of the brain are “pretty”. As are color printouts of the colon, intestines from digital test scans….I’ve used them in art.

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By NYCartist, November 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Why not?  Photographer scientists have been doing photos via microscopes for a long time, relatively speaking.  Roman Vishniac the great photographer of the Warsaw ghetto, did miscroscope photos as have others, regular folks, like a cousin by marriage.

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