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Brain Index

The Brain Index on the ground floor of the Greene Science Center (Credit: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University).

The wonders of the brain at your fingertips

An innovative digital art installation, the Brain Index introduces visitors to the scientists pushing the boundaries of neuroscience at the Zuckerman Institute. This interactive exhibit is open to the public on the ground floor of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at 3227 Broadway. Its floor-to-ceiling screens guide the observer through the brain using real scientific data, while telling the stories of the individual researchers and their curiosity.

Meet Nathaniel Sawtell and investigate how his electric fish may help to explain the electricity of the human brain. Marvel at how biomedical engineer Elizabeth Hillman’s studies blood flow in the brain using new kinds of microscopes. Discover how your memory works with Nobel laureate Eric Kandel and the marine snails he has studied for decades.

Three years in the making, the permanent exhibit is the brainchild of Laura Kurgan, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation who also directs the Center for Spatial Research at the Architecture School, and Mark Hansen, professor and director of the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia Journalism School. Commissioned by Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, the work brings together art and science, and is designed to spark the same sense of wonder and curiosity in the public, that drives the institute’s researchers.

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Art of the Brain, and the Scientists who Study It

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