Amongst the thousands of posters, talks, and endless networking, attendees at the 2019 Society for Neuroscience meeting enjoyed a sneak peek of a new interactive art exhibit. Neuro Space is the real-life expression of director John Morrison’s imagination. Following the release of one of his previous collaborative projects,, Morrison wanted to “build a neuron that you can walk through”. With the help of Danny Dumitriu, Bill Janssen, interactive exhibition curators from ARTECHOUSE, and media artist/director, Refik Anadol, Morrison’s idea came to life.

Although most of us would not think to pair art and science, the two are more intimately linked than we may realize. Like many neuroscientists, Morrison is continuously awestruck by the beauty of the brain and the elegant chaos of neural communication. Over the years, his research has yielded many beautiful images of neurons. Beyond their beauty, detailed images of neurons are an important step towards identifying the causes and effects of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to Tulane University professor Amy Lesen’s 2016 paper, artistic expression of scientific findings, hypotheses, and data allow us to move beyond our intellectual understanding of subject matter and into more emotion-based learning. Additional forms of scientific engagement can encourage curiosity and creativity in a way traditional scientific presentation may not. According to Morrison, the Neuro Space exhibit includes “all of the detailed microscopy and computerized reconstruction that went in to building a totally accurate, high resolution depiction of a neuron from the prefrontal cortex from [his] laboratory”. Displayed on a 30-foot-high cube and choreographed to create an immersive experience, his data comes to life.

Enjoy the sneak-peek and stay tuned for the entire installation featuring many more scientists and artists at next year’s Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC!

Written By Logan Savidge