Art in neuroscience

What do hippocampal neurons, Golgi, dottyback pigmentary cells and the dance of snares in the dark all have in common?

UQ's Queensland Brain Institute's annual art in neuroscience awards showcase stunning images from the Institute's laboratories and cutting-edge microscopy facilities. The images and videos represent the diversity of research being conducted at QBI.

The great unknown: A snapshot of a brain in cross-section and masked in black.

Dismantled eye: Like the earth, the insect eye is an ancient structure made up of many layers.

Kapwa: The full body of the zebrafish is captured using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Taking advantage of the transparent skin of the zebrafish, fluorescent proteins are observed in many slices through the fish, resulting in a large 3D monochrome image. This image is then transformed into a 2D image using colour to represent height.

That which makes us linger: Being able to accurately trace neurons (brain cells), including the fine protrusions (spines) where they connect with other neurons is essential to advancing our understanding of the brain. This image was captured using high-resolution spinning disk confocal microscopy and further processed using a technique called "deconvolution" to digitally restore finer, previously obscured details. The combination of these techniques allows a precise reproduction of two adjacent neurons. Colour in this image reflects depth in 3D.

Within the in-between: Rapid imaging of fluorescently labelled neurons using confocal microscopy allows researchers to build 3D models of the fine cellular architecture of the brain. This image reveals the cell bodies (large round objects) of neurons and their complex interconnected processes. Shades of orange through to blue reflect the height at which each neuron is sitting within the 3D tissue.

Rock and Roll: This image was captured when the bee was making a coordinated and banked turn in the curved section of an experimental tunnel.

Our Inner universe on Alzheimer's: Interpreting amyloid-beta's plague on our peripheral brain and inner mind. A striking difference can be observed in the healthy brain (top hemisphere) to a plaque invaded Alzheimer's brain (bottom hemisphere).

Vote for your favourite image here for your chance to own a framed copy of the winning entry. Voting is open until Wednesday 7 December.