Science illustrator Graham Johnson won first prize in the 2005 Visualization Challenge from Science magazine with his beautiful image The Synapse Revealed. Based on brain slice microscopy, he used a combination of pencil drawing and computer manipulation to produce the final result.
The resulting image is a careful balance between precision and beauty. Because the original data were so complex, Johnson cut the number of neuron interactions depicted to only 30% of the original data--"otherwise, it's just a mass of spaghetti in front of you," he says.
"It gives us the information we need, but at the same time brings an aesthetic, a refinement," says panel of judges member Felice Frankel. "That's really important: to get the viewer to want to look--and then to ask questions."
Tags: neuroart art