Self Reflected: Marvelous Images Showing What Your Brain Looks Like

There must be quiet a few people thinking that scientists can’t be artists. Yet, you will quickly change mind when seeing the artistic series of images created by artist and neuroscientist Dr. Greg Dunn, along with his collaborator Dr. Brian Edwards. This is a set of rainbow-colored images titled “Self Reflected” that offers an unprecedented insight of the brain into itself, revealing through a technique called reflective microetching, and revels the nature of human consciousness.

Scientifically, our brain has approximately 86 billion neurons joined together through some 100 trillion connections, giving rise to a complex biological machine capable of pulling off amazing feats. Traveling across half a million neurons and around two years to complete, the “Self Reflected” is likely the most complex and detailed artistic depiction of the brain in the world. It stands 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide, and depicts the visual cortex plate.

The series depicts a thin slice of the human brain at 22x the normal scale, each created through a combination of hand drawing, neuroscientific data, algorithmic simulation of neural circuitry, photolithography, strategic lighting design, and 1,750 sheets of 22k gold leaf.

"My work is neonaturalist, art based on natural forms and influenced by scientific advancements that allows us to perceive the universe beyond human senses," explains Dr. Greg Dunn in his artist statement. "Neonaturalism harmonises unfamiliar scientific imagery and techniques with an experimental artistic scaffolding.”And Dr. Brian Edwards added, "we, human, can't explain consciousness through an art piece, but we can give a sense of the fact that it is more complicated than just a few neurons."

Two artists hope their work will inspire people, even professional neuroscientists, "to take a moment and remember that our brains are absolutely insanely beautiful and they are buzzing with activity every instant of our lives,” Dr. Greg Dunn said. “Everybody takes it for granted; however, the most marvelous machine in the known universe is at the core of our being and is the root of our shared humanity.”

(Self Reflected was funded the National Science Foundation, and its first iteration is on permanent view at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA.)


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(Make sure to visit

Dr. Greg Dunn and Dr. Brian Edwards's websites,

to explore more detailed and scitific processes.)






All the photos are from the web and the copyright retains with the original author. If there is any problem, please contact us.
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