TOPIC: Tools Used in Neuroscience

ARTIST: Ciphrd


Scientific Background:

THE EYES OF SCIENCE is an artistic interpretation of the primary method of technology-aided neuroscientific research. The installation visualizes fluorescence affected-neurons under standard light microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy is a foundational practice in neuroscience, allowing scientists to see parts of biological systems that are otherwise unseen. The process involves inserting fluorophores, a chemical compound that glows under a microscope, into human tissue for study. When fluorophores are used on a brain sample, specific systems and components can be visualized and tracked as distinct elements from other elements around them.

Creative Approach:

Here, visitors can change which element of the neuron samples on the screen are focused on through agent-based simulations, which in turn visually present how neurons process data through specific input and output features.

How to interact with the work: 

  • In front of the bar, visitor’s silhouettes are captured. Neuron connections are formed where people are present, and the neuron bodies move towards the silhouette areas. A subtle background shows where the silhouettes are present, though the primary focus are the neurons.
  • At the side kiosks, visitors explore a variety of buttons and knobs that control a range of parameters in the neurons. This includes changing the color, activity level, and quality of neuron connections, along with the ability to destroy neurons and connections in a localized area.

Ciphrd is a generative artist particularly interested in the exploration of autonomous systems from which life-like behaviors emerge. His work revolves around the study of design through the observation of complex systems – not just those in nature, but also those found in computational systems, mutating and breeding until strange kinds of life emerge. 


Kristin Anderson, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in the DOOR (Developmental Origins of Resiliency) Lab at Columbia University where she studies resilience, stress, and depression. She is also a dedicated advocate for sustained federal investment in neuroscience and policies supporting biomedical research. Dr. Anderson worked closely with the ARTECHOUSE team to develop the storyboard of the neuron’s life to translate the scientific research into the experience.