Image of the Week: Neuronal Connections

Wellcome Trust Blog

Painting by by Prof Bill Harris

Painting has been a long time hobby of Prof. Bill Harris, Head of the department for Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at University of Cambridge. This image is one of a series of Prof. Harris’ acrylic paintings, and was inspired by a high-resolution electron micrograph of the neuropilar region of the brain’s cerebral cortex.

The cerebral cortex (often referred to as grey matter) is made up of thin layers of tissue on the outer part of the brain; it is responsible for cognitive processes such as perception, attention, memory, language, and problem solving.

Electron micrographs are initially captured as black and white images, and it can be extremely challenging for scientists to identify different elements. Often false colour is applied to help mark different processes, like axons working to transmit information or dendrites conducting signals.

In this painting, Prof Harris has depicted the axons in yellow and the dendrites blue…

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