Skip to content

Art of Neuroscience 2014

You can visit our online gallery to browse through other entries, or download a compilation of all entries with full descriptions in PDF format

The picture shows neurons in the brain, the organ responsible of any our behavior, namely of what we are and we think, what we perceive from the world and how we interact with it. Although each animal species is different at behavioral level, neurons that are responsible share the same structure, which is unequivocally linked with their function.

The Complexity of the Brain

Gabriele Deidda, Italian Institute of Technology

Winner Category Image 2014


The technique used to render individually visible these neurons is called “in utero electroporation”, as it allows to track neurons in their nativity period, namely in intrauterine life.

They appear as we see in the picture at the final maturation state, namely when they reach their final position in the brain and they will contribute to brain behaviors.

Fire & Wire

Christoph Leuze, Alfred Anwander & colleagues, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Winner Category Video 2015

The movie was entirely (data acquisition, visualization, 3D, sound) produced by scientists from the Max Planck Institute and shows in several parts the anatomy (anatomical MR scans), the function (resting state fMRI and task based MEG) and the connectivity (Diffusion tensor, Orientation distribution functions and Fiber tracking) inside the brain.

Submitted as a team from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig.


Decision Timescapes

Alex Gomez-Marin, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown

Honorable Mention 2014


Similarity matrix of the behaviour of a mouse spontaneously exploring a novel environment. Both axes represent time and colour scales with distance between video frames. Distance is estimated via pixel intensity differences in pairwise frame comparisons. Every point in the decision timescape captures a future-to-past relationship in the action space of the animal.

Locally and globally, this spatial representation of time maps all times at all lags onto a surface, allowing to visualise the complete dynamics of individual animal behaviour, therefore being an excellent conceptual tool to quantify stereotypy, variability and creativity in “thinking matter”.



Nothing makes sense in the brain except in the light of action. The convolution of art and neuroscience provides here a new entry point to grasp the brain-body-behavior continuum; the extended mind expressed through beauty and measurement.


The Nature of the Cortex

Michele Colombo, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

Honorable Mention 2014

The surface of the brain is a structure composed of complex convolutions and sulci, with a pattern that is specific for every brain. The image is a collage of natural patterns present throughout nature; in living organisms (corals, fungi, sponges, fossils, cacti, walnuts..) as well as in inorganic matter (mud, flowstone, clouds..). This art-work is a reminder that our brain is a
natural adaptive and self-organising structure, as opposed to the connectionist view of the brain being a complicated, mechanistic, static circuitry.}

Integrated Circuit 360

Gabriel Girard, University of Sherbrooke

Honorable Mention 2011

Tractography is the algorithmic procedure that estimates white matter pathways using directional information from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Tractography produces a sequence of tri-dimensional spatial points called a streamline. A streamline represents an estimate of the link between two anatomically connected brain regions. The video “Integrated Circuit 360” shows thousands of these streamlines. 


They are colored by the local average length of streamlines (low: light gray, medium: gray, high: black). Transparency is applied following the local average length, making longer streamlines appear through shorter streamlines. In the end, the video shows the estimated connectivity of the brain with emphasis on the length aspect of the streamlines distribution.


A Day in the Life of a Motor Protein

Josta Kevenaar & Marleen van Coevorden, Utrecht University

Honorable Mention 2014

In this short movie we follow John, a motor protein, during his journey through a neuron and the challenges he meets while performing his task of delivering his package to a specific site in the nerve cell.