Psychiatrist knits anatomically correct brain replica using wool

January 16th, 2009 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 16 (ANI): A Brit psychiatrist literally gave a woolly shape to the field of her studyshe knitted an anatomically correct replica of the human brain using wools of different colours.

Dr Karen Norberg, of National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, took a year to complete the replica of the notoriously complex organ, using different colour wools for various parts.

While the frontal cortex is cream and pale green, a mix of blue, purple and turquoise make the visual cortex.

On the other hand, the hippocampus is made up of baby pink wool.

The nine-inch brainone and a half times life sizehas two sides joined together by a zip with the cerebellum knitted in blue and spinal cord trailing off in white strands of wool.

Norberg said that she was adamant to finish her challenge after she began knitting.

“It was a labour of love. For me, there were two humorous aspects. One was simply to undertake such a ridiculously complex, time-consuming project for no practical reason, the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

“The second was the idea of making a somewhat mysterious and difficult object - a brain - out of a ”cuddly”, cheerfully coloured, familiar material like cotton yarn,” she added.

Norberg also said the wool turned out to be the perfect material for her project, as it lent itself to creating the right “rippling” effect for parts of the brain, and was easier to manipulate than other materials.

She said: “The process of construction was much more similar to the actual growth of a real brain than it would have been if I”d been using a material such as clay or metal.

She added: “You can see very naturally how the ”rippling” effect of the cerebral cortex emerges from properties that probably have to do with nerve cell growth. In the case of knitting, the effect is created by increasing the number of stitches in each row.”

She knitted all the parts of the brain - such as the cerebellum, brainstem and amygdala separately, and later stitched them all together.

And Norbergs patience certainly paid off, and the woolly brain is currently on display at the Boston Museum of Science.

Now, she is looking for other ways to harness her creativity: “I”m thinking of posters or t-shirts, but I am not so sure whether people will want to walk around with a knitted brain on the front of their clothes.” (ANI)

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