Dope-amine

Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter released in our brains when we do something rewarding. The dopaminergic system is behind most good feelings we have, and it is also the chemical that is targeted by highly addictive drugs such as cocaine.

To create this beautiful micrograph of dopamine crystals, Spike Walker, who won Thursday evening’s Royal Photographic Society‘s Combined Royal Colleges Medal, shone polarized light at the minute chemical structures. The crystals reflect light at different wavelengths depending on their orientations within the overall chemical structure. According to Walker, using this technique highlights more detail in the crystal structure than regular observation through a microscope.

About the author

Noah Hutton

Noah Hutton is a film director and curator, and was named a 2015 Salzburg Global Fellow in Neuroscience and Art.

View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *