The Beautiful Brain explores the the dialogue between current neuroscience and visual art. The site explores questions of creativity and perception that involve the mind of the artist as well as the mind of the observer, questions which modern neuroscience is beginning to address (gradually and responsibly, of course!). Instances where art seeks to answer questions of a traditionally scientific nature are also of great interest, and for that reason you will hear from artists as well as scientists at The Beautiful Brain.
NOAH HUTTON is a writer and film director based in New York City, working through his production house, Couple 3 Films. His first feature film, Crude Independence, was an official selection of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival and won Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Oxford Film Festival. In 2010, he began filming a 10-year documentary about The Blue Brain Project, and in 2011 he directed a series of 30 short films for Scientific American. In 2013, he curated Subjective Resonance Imaging, an international gallery show in conjunction with the 2013 Human Brain Mapping Conference, and was a featured speaker at the 2013 Association of Neuroaesthetics Symposium at the Venice Biennale. Noah graduated from Wesleyan University, where he studied art history and neuroscience.
BEN EHRLICH lives in Washington Heights, New York City. He is interested in the life and work of Nobel Prize-winning “father of modern neuroscience” Santiago Ramón y Cajal, some of whose non-technical writings he has translated from the original Spanish. His selections from Café Chats (Charlas de café, 1920), a popular book of semi-serious aphorisms and meditations, were published in New England Review in Spring 2012. Ben also published twelve articles in 2007 as a summer intern at The Forward, a national weekly news magazine. He is currently finishing up a job as the ghostwriter/ editor of a pop-psychology book for a major publisher. In 2009, Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors in Literary Studies from Middlebury College.
SAMUEL D. MCDOUGLE Sam is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University, studying the human motor system under Dr. Jordan Taylor. Sam holds a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College, where he focused his studies on cognitive neuroscience and psychology while dabbling in philosophy. He previously worked as a researcher in Dr. Javier Medina’s lab at UPenn investigating the neural basis of motor learning– specifically learned reflex timing– using tools from neuropsychology, in vivo neurophysiology and computational neuroscience. Sam’s musical credits include performances with his old bands, Tumbling Bones and The Powder Kegs, at various prominent festivals and clubs in Europe and the US (including a 2007 performance reaching millions of viewers worldwide on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion), several full-length recorded albums, and competition ribbons in bluegrass fiddle and guitar. He also occasionally writes for Vice, and also loves nachos.
IAN PARK graduated from Wesleyan University in May 2011 with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior.