‘Life of a Neuron’: A Collaboration Between Scientists and Artists

UC Davis Faculty Participating in D.C. Exhibition

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Woman standing in front of neuron exhibit
“Life of a Neuron” is on exhibit in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)

We tend to dichotomize the rational approach of scientific methodology and the creativity of artistic expression. However, the two are much more overlapping than we give them credit for. There is no better example of the intersectionality between art and science than ARTECHOUSE’s original exhibit, “Life of a Neuron.”

Life of a Neuron” is a product of a years-long collaboration between ARTECHHOUSE, an art organization producing and presenting innovative technology-driven art, and the Society for Neuroscience, a professional organization representing neuroscientists around the globe. Professor John H. Morrison, director of the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis, is the lead scientist behind this project.

Man with Green Background
Professor Morrison at the exhibit. (Courtesy photo)

Visitors to the museum will be treated to an immersive exhibit featuring neurons in various stages of development, growing and withering right before their eyes. The intersection between art, technology, and science is on full display as flashing lights and quickly changing colors illustrate the busy life of a neuron as it plays its assigned role. This collaboration between artists, designers, and scientists brings scientific findings out of the lab and into the lives of everyday people.

“What I find so exciting about this exhibit is that it is the first of its kind to use data like this to bring key neuroscience principles to life,” said Morrison. “Through the work of an incredible group of scientists organized by the society collaborating alongside the exciting group of artists organized by ARTECHOUSE, we’re able to bring to the world an exhibit like no other — artistic interpretations of scientific data and principles to allow the public to experience neuroscience in a whole new way.

“What’s fascinating and revolutionary about this collaboration and the narrative we are telling with Life of a Neuron’ is the ability to have the audience experience something that is happening inside all of us,” said Sandro Kereselidze, founder and CCO of ARTECHOUSE. “It’s an incredible opportunity to visualize and explore the science that we have been collecting for the past 50 years through research and study in a new, artistic way that still speaks to the human experience.”

Life of a Neuron” gives visitors unprecedented access to experience neurons like never before — and in doing so questions our existence, the universe — and what is next.

“It is my hope that this exhibit will spark curiosity in those who see it and inspire them to learn more about the universe between their ears,” Morrison said.

Life of a Neuron” is on display at ARTECHOUSE in Washington, D.C., through Jan. 2. Learn more here.

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Contact:

  • Messiah Foster, California National Primate Research Center, UC Davis, mfoster@ucdavis.edu

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