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2023 Neuroscience Art Contest

The artwork below cannot be used or reproduced without written consent from the artists and/or the Brigham Young University Neuroscience Center.

1st Place: "The Fruits of Neurogenesis" by Olivia Hansen

March 15, 2023 10:39 AM
This piece depicts a brain with neurons, foliage and flowers radiating from it. I've always thought neurons resemble flowers. This is fitting because the more we nourish certain areas of our lives, the more we grow since those specific neuronal pathways are being used more. Each neuron has a small icon next to the soma to indicate the pathway it contributes to. My piece represents the "fruits" of neurogenesis. Almost all neuron formation occurs during embryonic development. This artwork symbolizes the growth and utilization of the neurons formed in utero. As we grow up and learn new skills, these neurons become part of the trillions of pathways that make up our unique neuronal fingerprint.

2nd Place: "Celestial Synapse: Christ Connection to Man's Neural Creation" by Amulek Brenes

March 15, 2023 10:41 AM
I drew influence from Greg Dunn, a renowned neuroscientist and artist, especially his artworks titled Neurogenesis I and Neurogenesis II, and a handful of others. Young neurons use mature neurons to make connections at the correct places. The same is with Christ. As we grow and mature, using Jesus as a guide, we can reach our ultimate goal of being with God again. Neurogenesis and the Book of Genesis involve the creation of the human mind. Genesis describes humans as created in God's image and given the ability to grow and change. Similarly, neurogenesis allows the brain to continue developing and adapting throughout life, leading to new skills, memories, and experiences.

3rd Place: "Abigail's Anencephaly" by Katrina Lantz

March 15, 2023 10:46 AM
Anencephaly is a neural tube defect that interrupts the early development of the brain. My portrait of my first daughter, Abigail Réileen Lantz, shows how an interrupted neurogenesis, along with cells that would have differentiated into her skull (cranial vault), limit the life of an individual. I wasn't happy with the images that come up with a Google search on "anencephaly" because I found them hopeless and dehumanizing. This portrait of a baby with anencephaly shows her full humanity in her short life. She lived for 22.5 hours.

Honorable Mention: "Neurogenesis" by Amaya Chikuni

March 15, 2023 10:42 AM
I used white charcoal for the background, which is just a bunch of cells involved in neurogenesis. The main focus, done with hot glue which was then painted over, is radial glial cells with neurons migrating upwards, which were also made of hot glue, but covered in a mosaic of magazine bits.

Honorable Mention: "Pathfinder" by Rhen Davis

March 15, 2023 10:43 AM
Pathfinder depicts a growth cone which is a structure at the end of developing neurites made of microtubules (shown in green) and action fibers (shown in red). This piece embodies neurogenesis because its subject is an essential part of how neurons develop and find a path to their targets.
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