After building and loading our brain, we decided to place it at a higher level, just above our heads.
And there it rests now, fully fed, waiting for the moment we’ll turn it on.
After the scientific paper structure was all mounted up, we started to coat it with two inner layers, one made of extractor fan filter, the other made of that plastic transparent sheet we use in the kitchen to cover food and etc. The result was quite interesting, for this two layers gave the brain an irregular translucent appearance, and the yellow scientific papers seen through this dimming surfaces felt just like forming circunvolutions. This really added a more complex appearance to our brain.
Finally, we wrapped all this inside a metallic net coating for a harder look and touch.
Next step: fill up the brain.
We inserted, during its assembly, several pen drives in specific areas of the brain – hippocampus, frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and cerebellum. We then filled this areas of the brain with video materials we’ve been collecting during our whole residency. When doing this, we tried to establish some relations between the images inserted in a specific area and the functions that area of the brain is known to have in its general activity.
In a way, we uploaded to this brain the history of our residency and the life we witnessed at the research centre during our 7 months stay.
And here it is, our shiny metallic brain with its core of scientific articles from CNC research groups and filled with the memory of our residency.
For about a month now, we’ve been reusing the rumpled yellow papers that were left from The Review Game. We thought: here we have a bunch of papers with scientific information about neuroscience which have a history; they’ve been read, rumpled, cited, paddled over a table by researchers, they were fun to use and interesting to comment on. We felt they had the potential to build something. And so we started to build a brain out of them.
We began to bind one paper to the other and the other and the other, and the different parts of a human brain started to grow. We used some models to get the hang of it.
Then, we bound the different brain parts to form the whole brain. This is, off course, a special brain – it’s a brain built on scientific papers from CNC research groups, who spend their days trying to understand how the human brain works. In a way, they are trying to build the human brain through the knowledge they get from very specific experiments. Just like we did. This brain captures a part of our experience and experiments here at CNC, it’s built with it.
One interesting thing we decided to do was give this brain the same weight of a real human brain (in average, of course). Our brain weights approx. 1.4Kg.
Note – this brain is made up of the following scientific articles:
– Agasse F, Bernardino L, Kristiansen H, Christiansen SH, Ferreira R, Silva B, Grade S, Woldbye DPD, Malva JO (2008). Neuropeptide Y Promotes Neurogenesis in Murine Subventricular Zone. Stem Cells 26:1636-1645.
– Álvaro AR, Martins J, Costa AC, Fernandes E, Carvalho F, Ambrósio AF and Cavadas C. Neuropeptide Y Protects Retinal Neural Cells Against Cell Death Induced by Ecstasy (2008). Neuroscience 152:97-105.
– Álvaro AR, Rosmaninho-Salgado J, Ambrósio AF, Cavadas C (2009). Neuropeptide Y Inhibits [Ca2+]i Changes in Rat Retinal Neurons through NPY Y1, Y4 and Y5 Receptors. J Neurochemistry 109:1508-1515.
– Arduíno DM, Esteves AR, Oliveira CR, Cardoso SM (2010). Mitochondrial Metabolism Modulation: A New Therapeutic Approach for Parkinson’s Disease. CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets 9(1):1-15.
– Bernardino L, Agasse F, Silva B, Ferreira R, Grade S, Malva JO (2008).Tumor Necrosis Factor-a Modulates Survival, Proliferation, and Neuronal Differentiation in Neonatal Subventricular Zone Cell Cultures. Stem Cells 26:2361-2371.
– Bernardino L, Xapelli S, Silva AP, Jakobsen B, Poulsen FR, Oliveira CR, Vezzani A, Malva JO, Zimmer J (2005). Modulator Effects of Interleukin-1b and Tumor Necrosis Factor-a on AMPA-Induced Excitotoxicity in Mouse Organotypic Hippocampal Slice Cultures. J Neuroscience 25(29):6734-6744.
– Cavadas C, Céfai D, Rosmaninho-Salgado J, Vieira-Coelho MA, Moura E, Busso N, Pedrazzini T, Grand D, Rotman S, Waeber B, Aubert J-F, Grouzmann E (2006). Deletion of the Neuropeptide Y (NPY) Y1 Receptor Gene Reveals a Regulatory Role of NPY on Catecholamine Synthesis and Secretion. PNAS 27:10497-10502.
– Esteves AR, Arduíno DM, Swerdlow RH, Oliveira CR, Cardoso SM (2009). Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 11(3):1-10.
– Esteves AR, Arduíno DM, Swerdlow RH, Oliveira CR, Cardoso SM (2010). Microtubule Depolymerization Potentiates Alpha-synuclein Oligomerization. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 1(5):1-6.
– Pinheiro PS, Perrais D, Coussen F, Barhanin J, Bettler B, Mann JR, Malva JO, Heinemann SF, Mulle C (2007). GluR7 is an Essential Subunit of Presynaptic Kainate Autoreceptors at Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses. PNAS 29:12181-12186.
– Silva AP, Cavadas C, Grouzmann E (2002). Neuropeptide Y and its Receptors as Potential Therapeutic Drug Targets. Clin Ch Acta 326:3-25.
– Silva AP, Lourenço J, Xapelli S, Ferreira R, Kristiansen H, Woldbye DPD, Oliveira CR, Malva JO (2007). Protein Kinase C Activity Blocks Neuropeptide Y-mediated Inhibition of Glutamate Release and Contributes to Excitability of the Hippocampus in Status Epilepticus. FASEB J 21:671-681.