Presentation Title

Engram

Presenter Information

Ruth J. MeierFollow

Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2023

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

This technique has often been used to study how fear conditioning leads to the formation of engrams, but here in this painting, blue light is used to reignite the memory of a flower. The brain has been struck by blue light, and the neurons receiving the signal are connected, working together to convey the image of an orange daisy. The fast-drying qualities of acrylic paint facilitate the depiction of the complex network of neurons in the brain. Dendritic and axonal projections of neurons overlap abundantly and create significant depth behind the painting, generating the need for numerous layers of paint. Additionally, the vibrance of the acrylic paint colors enhances the contrast between neurons and blue light. The neurons lacking ChR2 are painted with highly saturated hues of pink, red, and purple that intensely contrast the white outlines of the beams of light. This contrast draws attention to the neurons that are subject to optogenetic activation, highlighting the network of neurons functioning as an engram. The dendrites and axons of these neurons are all depicted with the same blue and white paint to represent how they are interconnected and work together as a unit to store a memory.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Engram

This technique has often been used to study how fear conditioning leads to the formation of engrams, but here in this painting, blue light is used to reignite the memory of a flower. The brain has been struck by blue light, and the neurons receiving the signal are connected, working together to convey the image of an orange daisy. The fast-drying qualities of acrylic paint facilitate the depiction of the complex network of neurons in the brain. Dendritic and axonal projections of neurons overlap abundantly and create significant depth behind the painting, generating the need for numerous layers of paint. Additionally, the vibrance of the acrylic paint colors enhances the contrast between neurons and blue light. The neurons lacking ChR2 are painted with highly saturated hues of pink, red, and purple that intensely contrast the white outlines of the beams of light. This contrast draws attention to the neurons that are subject to optogenetic activation, highlighting the network of neurons functioning as an engram. The dendrites and axons of these neurons are all depicted with the same blue and white paint to represent how they are interconnected and work together as a unit to store a memory.