New technology is changing the way that scientists view the brain. At a microscopic level, researchers can visualize sparks of electrical activity in individual neurons and resolve motifs of neural connectivity that ultimately support consciousness, emotions, and complex thought. At a macroscopic level, researchers use clinical imaging technologies to identify, more precisely than ever before, brain regions that underlie this broad repertoire of higher cognitive processes. With these new tools, scientists are discovering fundamental mechanisms of brain function that will ultimately create a more complete understanding of what it means to be human.
In the NEURODOME project, we will bring this new knowledge and imagery to the public. Borrowing data visualization technology from the field of astronomy, the initiative will create engaging visualizations that depict high-resolution imagery of the brain’s neural circuitry while preserving a larger scale anatomical perspective. We will leverage the proven educational merit of immersive display projection, namely dome-format film, to teach the public about the brain through “route-based” spatial learning, an educational strategy that is largely unexplored for biological topics.