Thursday, April 19, 2007

Some light reading: Scientifically Accurate Brain Art - and quilted at that:


Developmental psychologist Marjorie Taylor and psychiatrist Karen Norberg give a whole new meaning to knitting and its representational glories by producing this piece of artwork from wool (yes, which is correct - wool.) You can see more of their art from wool and PET scans at http://www.neuroscienceart.com/

Image above - Title: "Karen Norberg #1" Year: 2006 Material: Colored Wool
The two were drawn to the niche independently. Taylor, a professor at the University of Oregon, Eugene, had been making quilts on the side for years before she turned her needle to neuroscience. Struck by the cover images of journals like Cerebral Cortex, she began reproducing them in fabric; creating pieces that--for example--show positron emission tomography scans of the brain's response to hearing or seeing words.

Karen Norberg who works at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says she began knitting a brain to kill time when she was undergoing clinical training in child psychiatry. The product now resides at the Boston Museum of Science.

"Building a brain with yarn and knitting needles turns out to follow many of the same pathways as actual brain development," says Norberg.