Brain Art Competition 2017

  1. Best Representation of the Human Connectome
  2. Best Abstract Brain Illustration
  3. Best Humorous Brain Illustration
  4. Special Topic: Linking the micro- and macroscales
  5. Best Representation of Brain Vasculature
  6. Best Video Illustration of the Brain

Congratulations to the winners:

Best Representation of the Human Connectome

Cerebellar Folia
Greg Dunn
Greg Dunn Design

Best Abstract Brain Illustration

The Divergent Thinker
Holly Warren
University of Hertfordshire School of Creative Art

Best Humorous Brain Illustration

Arborization
Jane P. Sheldon
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Special Topic: Linking the Micro- and Macroscales

Brain Connectivity Leap
Greg Dunn
Greg Dunn Design

Best Representation of Brain Vasculature

Veins in fMRI
Kendrick Kay
University of Minnesota

Best Video Illustration of the Brain

Self Reflected
Will Drinker (with Greg Dunn & Brian Edwards)
Greg Dunn Design

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Brain-Art Competition platform was generously developed by Arik Sosman.

Note on Licensing: All submissions to the Brain Art Competition 2017 are the artists’ own work, and protected under the following Creative Commons license, unless stated otherwise in the image caption:
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Best Representation of the Human Connectome

 

NeuroCave
Olu Ajilore
University of Illinois at Chicago

The representation of the human connectome as a graph enables neuroscientists to apply graph-theoretic approaches in order to explore its complex characteristics. Here, we introduce NeuroCave, a novel immersive visual analytics system that facilitates the visual inspection of structural and functional connectome datasets. With NeuroCave, brain researchers can interact with the connectome while wearing portable VR headsets, in any coordinate system or topological space, as well as cluster brain regions into different modules on demand. Furthermore, a default side-by-side layout enables simultaneous, synchronized manipulation in 3D made possible with modern GPU hardware architecture, and facilitates comparison tasks across different subjects or diagnostic groups or longitudinally within the same subject. Edge clutter is prevented using a state-of-the-art edge bundling technique and through a user need-based layout strategy, while modularity is optimally positioned in 3D exploiting mathematical properties of platonic solids. In sum, NeuroCave encapsulates next-generation visualizations of the human connectome by introducing new functionality not available in other visualization software platforms.

 

Best Abstract Brain Illustration

Best Humorous Brain Illustration

Special Topic: Linking the Micro- and Macroscales

The Human Brain
Jim Stanis
Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California

This video illustrates the anatomy of the human brain from macro to micro. First, the brain is shown with the grey matter highlighted. This fades away to reveal the white matter eventually revealing the structures of the inner brain. The view then zooms into a small section of the hippocampus that shows nerve fiber tracts colored by their direction. The view has gone from a scale of approximately 7.25 inches down to a scale of about .6 inches. Zooming further shows a single individual neuron within the hippocampal volume. The view is now at the scale of micrometers. The neuron model was created from a mesh generated from real neuron volume data. Details such as dendritic spines can be seen. This video is meant to help illustrate the anatomy and structural complexity of the brain at different scales.

Fibre Bridges
Michiel Kleinnijenhuis
FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford

The 2 minute animation flies through the fibre neuroanatomy of the brain, in particular the corpus callosum. It starts within a myelinated axon, where you see diffusing water molecules that are the basis of diffusion MRI. Pulling out through the myelin sheath’s lipid bilayers, the axon is kept in focus and is shown in the 3D electron microscopy dataset from which it was segmented. It is joined in a colourful display by all other myelinated axons from this dataset. Fibres are then seen shooting out laterally as growing streamlines. The EM dataset fades to reveal the data at the next scale: polarized light imaging. Raw images taken with different polarizer rotations combine into a brightly coloured map indicating fibre orientations. Zooming out further, anatomical MRI data is added to the PLI sections. A representation of the fibres from tractography is projected in front of the PLI section. The whole-brain level becomes visible as a fractional anisotropy map that fades in. Corpus callosum tractography streamlines are grown from the midline and joined by the superior longitudinal fasciculus III and spinal cord projections. The whole-brain colour-coded tractogram is rendered and encapsulated by the pial surfaces. Pulling back further reveals the population level, where the many brains morph into diffusing particles to close the circle. Created with NeuroBlender.

Best Representation of Brain Vasculature

 

Best Video Illustration of the Brain

Self Reflected: A Look Inside Your Mind
Will Drinker (with Greg Dunn & Brian Edwards)
Greg Dunn Design

Video by Will Drinker. “Self Reflected” artwork by Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards

Neuroscience: A Point of View
Zoltan Nagy and Ting Xu
Laboratory for Social and Human Systems Research, University of Zurich and Child Mind Institute

Nobel laureate Richard Feynman said in his famous lecture series: “If our small minds, for some convenience, divide (…) this universe into parts – physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology and so on – remember that nature does not know it.” Our video illustration applies this idea to neuroscience, and aims to remind us that our work in this scientific field is but an arbitrary subdivision of nature – a certain point of view. Hence the many view points in our video. Hence the arrangement of the different anatomical parts in such a way that it looks like what we recognise as an intact, human brain from one single point of view. And hence the the spinning blur of inseparable parts (the universe) in the beginning and at the end. For this video, we used actual MRI data. A hi-resolution brain image of one of us was segmented in FreeSurfer and subsequently, manipulated, textured and animated to music in several other software packages. The background music is Zoltan’s composition (no copyright issues).

Neuroscience: A Point of View
Katja Heuer, Roberto Toro, Gaël Varoquaux
Max Planck Institute, Institut Pasteur, NeuroSpin

Connectome functional connectivity data from the HCP data projected onto a sphere, translated into a 3D model build from ultra violet reactive thread

Eva and the Brain
Robert Leech
Imperial College London, UK

Video demonstrating a small, downloadable game where you play as Eva and her brain exploring worlds (loosely) based on brain themes. Explore the world; grow Eva’s brain to gain more abilities (e.g., motor and visual cortex); climb gyri, fall into sulci; escape microglia; and fly around the connectome. The game can be found here: https://leechbrain.itch.io/brain. Thanks to Rodrigo Braga for advice, and Peter Hellyer for the connectome data. (Apologies for gross simplifications of brain-function relationships and anatomical inaccuracies.)