The graphic series Mindscapes is a result of collaboration with researchers Marianne Fyhn and Sverre Grødem from the Center for Integrative Neuroplasticity (CINPLA) at the University of Oslo. The starting point for the motifs is fluorescence images of protein structures in the brain. These structures are called perineural nets (fishnet stockings) because these nets are enwrapping the brain cells. I have looked at various sizes and constructed backgrounds with stylized brain cells with dendrites that receive information from other brain cells. The images are printed in several rounds with various matrices and stencils.
The researchers from the CINPLA group are the first in the world to show that structures on the outside of brain cells, play an important role in the storage of long-term memories. The researchers studied a form of extracellular matrix molecules that enwrap around nerve cells in the brain of rats. These protein networks stabilize the contact points with other brain cells, - the points where memories are stored. The contact points can be seen as the ‘holes’ in the structures. According to Marianne Fyhn, long-term memories are disrupted when these networks are dissolved. In the long term, researchers believe this could open up new opportunities for developing new drug targets and treatment for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.
The fluorescence images: Sverre Grødem at CINPLA.