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At the crossroads of art and science, TheBeautiful Brain presents Nobel Laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience through his groundbreaking artistic brain imagery.
“Among the world’s greatest scientific illustrations. . . . They posit the thing between your ears as an immense cosmic universe, or at least one of the most intricate of all of nature’s creations. That the images are also undeniable as art only adds to the complexity.” —New York Times
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) was the father of modern neuroscience and an exceptional artist. He devoted his life to the anatomy of the brain, the body’s most complex and mysterious organ. His superhuman feats of visualization, based on fanatically precise techniques and countless hours at the microscope, resulted in some of the most remarkable illustrations in the history of science.
This selection of Cajal’s exquisite drawings of brain cells, brain regions, and neural circuits features accessible descriptive commentary, explored in the text from multiple perspectives:
- Larry W. Swanson describes Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience
- Lyndel King and Eric Himmel explore his artistic roots and achievement
- Eric A. Newman provides commentary on the drawings
- Janet M. Dubinsky describes contemporary neuroscience imaging techniques
In addition to showcasing Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience and exploring his artistic roots and achievement, The Beautiful Brain looks at his work in relation to contemporary neuroscience imaging, appealing to general readers and professionals alike.
About the Author
Larry W. Swanson is the author of Brain Architecture (2012) and a past President of the Society for Neuroscience. He is a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California.
Eric A. Newman is a distinguished neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota.
Alfonso Araque is a distinguished neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota.
Janet Dubinsky is a distinguished neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota.