Heart of the Brain

Chris Steele, MPI Leipzig
The cerebellum is extensively connected to the rest of the brain, contains approximately 50% of its neurons, yet occupies only a small fraction of the total brain volume. Similar to the heart's role in pumping oxygenated blood to disparate regions of the body, the cerebellum connects with and supports cognitive functions in virtually all regions of the brain. I have chosen to alter the conventional view of the cerebellum by rotating it so as to suggest the shape of a human heart. This serves to alter the physical view of the cerebellum while, on a more abstract level, suggesting that the conventional neuroscientific view of the cerebellum as a purely motor region should be reconsidered in light of its connectivity. The image is composed of a single saggital slice through the left hemisphere of the cerebellum of three individuals. It is a composite of tract density images from probabilistic tractography overlayed with probabilistic streamlines.
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