Self Reflected

Video credit: Will Drinker

Follow the light as it moves across the golden surface. What you see is a portrait of your brain—the communication happening in your own head at this very instant. Self Reflected is your brain perceiving itself.

Dr. Greg Dunn (artist and neuroscientist) and Dr. Brian Edwards (artist and applied physicist) created Self Reflected to bridge the connection between the macroscopic perception of the brain as a wrinkled, mysterious, three-pound organ and the microscopic behavior of brain cells, or neurons. Together, the functions of the brain at both levels underlie the very essence of our consciousness. Dunn and Edwards wanted to capture the brain as realistically as possible. The result—an unprecedented insight of the brain into itself—shows the movement and dynamic communication of information as the brain is visually stimulated by a work of art. Self Reflected was created to remind us of our common humanity that stems from the inner workings of our minds.

An MRI Scan

Self Reflected is the most complex piece of art on the brain in the world, yet it pales in comparison to the true complexity of the brain. Hard working and ever changing, the brain creates everything we see, hear, feel, and think. Self Reflected aims to show us a mirror image of who we are.

This project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation through the University of Pennsylvania.