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Watch People Drawing Their Own Brains

Beware, your brain can force you to spend a lot more time than you might think watching these

smithsonian.com

What does your brain look like? You might be picturing a photograph of a lumpy wrinkly pink thing. Or maybe you’re imagining something more abstract—a collection of ideas. Now think—what would you put on paper, if you had to draw your brain? That’s an interesting question for people who think about our own conception of self. And one researcher has started collecting drawings from people, to get a sense for what we think our own brains look like.

Dr. Jacopo Annese explains on the website The Brain Observatory:

I was very interested in discovering how people picture their mind, what it ‘looks’ like inside their head, so we created the opportunity for everyone to portray their ‘sense of self’ in the form of a simple sketch of their physical brain. The drawing tool is simple, intuitive, and easy to use. We did not want to influence creativity by adding images of real brains or neuroscience themes in the design of the brain drawing application. This way we thought we would leave the most room to imagination. The brain gallery is also very clean in terms of design so that all the drawings that are progressively added to the collection can be seen at once. Some drawings will not look like a brain at all…we’ll see. As long as they are not obscene we will not reject them.

You can view all 212 brains, and even watch them being drawn. Some people include their head and face, while others simply go for the organ. Some give their brains eyes and personality, and others stay clinical. There are side views, top views, and cross sections. Beware, though, you can spend a lot more time than you might think watching these.

More from Smithsonian.com:

The Double Dinosaur Brain Myth
This Is How Your Brain Works

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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