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GALLERY: The Art of Neuroscience vol. III

[ 8 ] November 1, 2010 |

Neurogenesis– the creation of new neurons in the brain– was conventionally believed to only occur in the growing brains of infants and children.  In the 1960s, data started appearing that showed the birth of new neurons in adult, fully formed brains.  Now, 40 years later, adult neurogenesis is one of the more robust fields of study in the neurosciences.

Jason Snyder studies adult neurogenesis in Heather Cameron’s lab at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD.  Snyder’s research focuses on neurogenesis in the hippocampus, highlighting the role of these new neurons in such fundamental behaviors as memory formation and learning.

In his earlier days, Snyder was a student of electrophysiological techniques for studying the brain, and admired the simple, elegant aesthetic of the technology: “I remember pasting a voltage waveform on my bedroom wall because…those curves were beautiful!”

We’re delighted to have some exclusive images from Jason Snyder’s microscope.  He has a sharp eye for the compelling, unusual forms of brain tissue and uses a beautiful array of staining techniques to highlight young neurons and answer questions relating to neurophysiological results of neurogenesis.

In deciding how to crop these images and which colors to use to visually distinguish certain cells from the surrounding chaos of brain tissue, Snyder’s work toes the line between a hard science goal with great explanatory value and a more artistic mentality in the science’s visual presentation. The art and science go together: a stunning visual can make for a stunning revelation about the structure and function of cells and regions of the brain, and can emotionally move us with its sheer beauty, perhaps steering us towards a lifetime of studying the brain.

Enjoy the gallery below, which presents views of neurogenesis from different regions across the brain and at various magnifications. Jason truly embodies the pursuits of our Art of Neuroscience gallery series.

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For more of Jason’s work, check out his blog, Functional Neurogenesis.

Comments (8)

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anastasia Pryanikova, Dr. Bones DLC, Neurogenesis Blog, Daniel Lende, Intan Indira and others. Intan Indira said: RT @jsnsndr: My pix! http://thebeautifulbrain.com/2010/11/gallery-the-art-of-neuroscience-vol-iii/ [...]

  2. [...] GALLERY: The Art of Neuroscience vol. III (thebeautifulbrain.com) [...]

  3. [...] illustrators often get caught up by the intricacies of its structure.  Neural scans and stains may double as art.  And, often, they inspire art.  Some is simply mimetic: a quilt based on an MRI, or a [...]

  4. [...] on our pages here at The Beautiful Brain, among many others (Pablo Garcia, Elizabeth Jameson, Jason Snyder). According to the exhibition’s press release, the intent of the show is to encourage the [...]

  5. Neil Davies says:

    Stunning work with huge implications in the field of neuroplasticity and the ability of the adult brain to regenerate and adapt. Fascinating for chiropractors who relish optimizing the health of the nervous system!

  6. [...] GALLERY: The Art of Neuroscience vol. III, Neurogenesis Belles images du microscope de Jason Snyder sur la neurogenèse dans l’hippocampe. [...]

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