Anatomy

Beautiful Brain: Step Inside the Brain

Observing several of Cajal's works, students will explore answers to the questions: How did Cajal’s interest in art and the brain merge? How did artistic and scientific techniques influence his interpretation of the brain?

Santiago Ramón y Cajal, considered the father of modern neuroscience, was also an exceptional artist. He drew the brain in a way that provided a clarity exceeding that achieved by photographs.

Beautiful Brain: Strangest Dream

Working with several of Cajal's artworks, students will see beyond the surface story of an artwork and experience different viewpoints through close looking and creative writing.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal, considered the father of modern neuroscience, was also an exceptional artist. He drew the brain in a way that provided a clarity exceeding that achieved by photographs.

Visualizing Neurons

Cultured Mouse Hippocampal Pyramidal Neuron expressing GFP

courtesy of Dr. Dezhi Liao

The neuron has been modified genetically to produce the green fluorescent protein (GFP) first isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria.

Move your mouse over the image to show axon, dendrite, and cell body labels. Click and hold the mouse button to see dendritic spines, presynaptic axonal sites, and nerve terminals highlighted. According to Dr. Liao, "Dendritic spines are the fundamental elements of computational processing in the brain."

Visualizing Synapses

Confocal Image Stack A02 courtesy of Blake Ebner and Harry Orr; Text by Jan Dubinsky; Video by Sue Minor

Confocal images of a climbing fiber axon forming synapses on a Purkinje cell and its dendrites emerge as if viewed through a microscope. The most detailed view shows the parts labeled.

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