Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Brain Fabrics

"As soon as she saw her first images of the brain, Marjorie Taylor was spellbound. The vibrant pinks and blues, the intricate detailing - somehow they spoke to her. 'I couldn't help but look at them with the eye of a quilter,' says Taylor, a psychologist at the University of Oregon. 'I thought the folds of the cerebral cortex would be great in velvet.'

And so was born a new genre of visual art: scientifically accurate fabric brains. True to her original vision, Taylor's first piece was a quilt with a cerebral cortex in blue velvet on a silver background.


Taylor isn't the only fabric artist who draws inspiration from neuroscience. Psychiatrist Karen Norberg of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also creates anatomically correct brain art. Independently of Taylor, she decided to make an accurate model of the human brain - in wool.

It took a year to knit, and the result is astonishing. The cortex of Norberg's larger-than-life brain has realistic folds, while the internal structure is correct down to the last stitch. All the parts are properly connected, as can be revealed by undoing a well-concealed zip that connects the two hemispheres."

Michael Brooks, Neural knitworks: It's the human brain as you've never seen it before, in New Scientist, 20/27 December 2008, p.51

for more info go to http://harbaugh.uoregon.edu/Brain/#


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