Saturday, 20 December 2008

The Knitted Brain

Knitted Brain (Detail) - Karen NorbergThe knitted object partially shown to the left is an accurate representation of the structure of a human brain, with the hemispheres joined by a zip, here shown unzipped. It was made by psychiatrist Karen Norberg, and if you click it you will visit the online Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art, where there's a large, high-quality, zoomable image of the whole thing.

In an interview with Science, Norberg says that she found the process instructive in her studies: “Building a brain with yarn and knitting needles turns out to follow many of the same pathways as actual brain development.”

Folds of the Cerebral Cortex (Detail) - Marjorie TaylorThe works of psychologist Marjorie Taylor, also pictured in the museum, are quilted versions of MRI scans, and hang in offices around the University of Oregon. The cerebral cortex in blue velvet on silver is extremely beautiful - a detail is shown to the right.

Perhaps one day the works will be brought together for a show. Hat tip New Scientist (article behind the link, or issue 2687, page 51). In it, Taylor says: “There are plenty of rugs that show flowers and cats and lighthouses. Why not fMRI scans?”

1 comment:

Johanna said...

Totally rocking Ms. H!!! If you like brains, you MUST read My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. If you haven't already :-)