Brain Art Competition 2013

  1. Best Representation of the Human Connectome
  2. Best Abstract Brain Illustration
  3. Best Humorous Brain Illustration
  4. Best Video Illustration of the Brain
  5. Special Topic: Best Visualization of Probabilistic Connectivity

Congratulations to the winners:

Best Representation of the Human Connectome

Selfportrait II
Etienne Saint-Amant, Chaoscopia

Best Abstract Brain Illustration

Danzamente – the dance of connections
Sara Ambrosino, Emmanuela Ambrosino, NICHE Neuroimaging Lab, Psychiatry Department, UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands

Best Humorous Brain Illustration

I hurt my thumb
Andy Woods,

Best Video Illustration of the Brain

The dynamic brain
Marcel de Reus, University Medical Center Utrecht

Special Topic: Best Visualization of Probabilistic Connectivity

MEG source connectivity analysis using 3D graph visualization
Sebastien Dery, MNI

Many thanks to our sponsors







Note on Licensing: All submissions to the Brain Art Competition 2013 are the artists’ own work, and protected under the following Creative Commons license:

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Best Representation of the Human Connectome

Blink – an online 3D graph visualization tool and database for brain networks
Kai Schlamp, Jessica Jesser
Departement of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Heidelberg

Blink ( is an online 3D graph visualization tool and database for brain networks (functional and structural). Every brain network has its own identifier so that it can be easily shared with the scientific community. The visualization can be easily customized and also exported to a printable image. Networks can be uploaded using the web interface or by a provided desktop tool (for batch uploads).
This is a preview version of Blink for the BRAIN-ART COMPETITION 2013 with one network and a demo mode. I hope you will like it. The full website will be online in late summer.

Mapping Functional and Structural Connectomes
Johnson GadElkarim, Olu Ajilore, Alex Leow
University of Illinois at Chicago

This is a visualization of the functional connectome made out of 87 different regions of the human brain. The color codes the amplitude of fMRI BOLD signal. The video shows 200 fMRI samples separated by 2 sec each. At every frame, the structural connectivity between regions with synchronized fMRI signal appear, if existing, as lines interconnecting the centroids of those regions. The structural connectivity was generated using full brain DTI tractography . The thickness of the line represents the number of fibers interconnecting those regions.

Best Abstract Brain Illustration

Best Humorous Brain Illustration

Neural Networks in the Brain Cartoon Video
Jaap Murre
University of Amsterdam

Humerous, as in ‘over-produced’, yet serious video cartoon of neural networks in the brain with myself as a cartoon character and a guest appearance of my wife Dela in the role of doting student. It intends to introduce the very basics of neural networks.

Best Video Illustration of the Brain

The dynamic brain
Marcel de Reus
University Medical Center Utrecht

Our brain is a complex network of structurally and functionally interlinked regions. Integrative brain function does not solely depend on the activation or influence of a single element of this network, but rather emerges from the system as a whole, the human connectome. Simple dynamical models can be used to give an impression of the system’s continuous neuronal interactions, exposing the highways of our brain.

Tumbling Brains
John Darrell Van Horn
University of California Los Angeles

Tumbling Brains: This video illustrates the graphical rendering of 3D brain surface models from healthy controls (HC), those with mild-cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Each brain is unique to each subject and is positioned in the display so that those brains it is most mathematically similar to are positioned nearby. Those brains which are most dissimilar are positioned farther apart. Each brain is colorized according to the thickness of the cortex (blue is relatively thinner cortex, while red is relatively thick). Brain models from patients with AD are easily distinguishable from HC as well as those with MCI. The software used for this OpenGL-based interactive rendering is entitled “Informatics Visualization in Neuroimaging” – or more simply, INVIZIAN ( This video was created by John Darrell Van Horn, Ph.D., Ian Bowman, M.S., Shantanu Joshi, Ph.D., and Mr. Vaughan Greer of the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI), Department of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine. To watch the video in its full resolution, click on the ‘HD’ link to the site.

A white matter rendezvous
Vesna Prchkovska
IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain and TU/e, Eindhoven, Netherlands

An artistic video of the tool that we developed and its capabilities during our PhDs. We show several different representations of the measurements of the Diffusion MRI data from local diffusion glyph profiles that are GPU rendered to shiny fibers that follow the nerve pathways. Enjoy this rendezvous at the brain white matter.

How do functional individual differences wire the brain?
Xi-Nian Zuo
Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

In this video, a whole-brain network was generated and animated based upon the co-variance or inter-individual variability of local functional homogeneity of each pair of the 16,659 vertices – a covariance connectome (covCONN). This covCONN was further rendered onto the cortical surface with its wiring diagram. The community detection on the covCONN produced five modules: default network (red, 28.16% vertices), frontoparietal network (yellow, 24.46% vertices), somatomotor network (blue, 18.96% vertices), visual network (purple, 14.35% vertices) and attention network (green, 14.06% vertices).

3D Immersive Visualization of Whole-Brain Tractography in CAVE2
Olu Ajilore
Collaborative Neuroimaging Environment for Connectomics, University of Illinois at Chicago

This video displays a 3D interactive immersive environment for visualizing tractography from a single subject derived with standard diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI). The visualization in CAVE2 is sensitive to the user’s point of view through the use of head-tracking 3D glasses. Movement through the virtual brain is controlled by the user with a modified Playstation Move controller. By visualizing tractography data in CAVE2, differences between DTI and HARDI in reconstructed fiber density and fiber geometry are easily appreciated.
CAVE2 is approximately 24 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall, and consists of 72 near-seamless passive stereo off-axis-optimized 3D LCD panels, a 36-node high-performance computer cluster, a 20-speaker surround audio system, a 10-camera optical tracking system and a 100-Gigabit/second connection to the outside world. CAVE2 provides users with a 320-degree panoramic environment for displaying information at 37 Megapixels in 3D or 74 Megapixels in 2D with a horizontal visual acuity of 20/20.

Brain – Changes in genetic influence over time
Kaushik Ram
Brain Dynamics Centre, University of Sydney. Australia

Maps are a useful tool in visualizing the characteristics of a landscape. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we can recreate a 3D landscape of the brain. I have used an atlas of the brain and genetic information to and calculate how much of the brain architecture is genetically programed and how much of the brain can be shaped by experience.
The heritability (h^2) of both gray matter and white matter regions change with age. Gray matter is represented in the red-yellow color scheme. White matter is represented in the light green-dark green color scheme.

Special Topic: Best Visualization of Probabilistic Connectivity