Year: 2012

Have a brainy Xmas

Neurocomic Xmas Farinella

In a few days I’m flying to Italy. I’m going to take a short break from comics and focus on my thesis, but before I go I made this little card to thank all of you who supported me so far. This has been an incredibly good year (for me in general and for Neurocomic in particular) but it looks like next year is going to be even better! Have a good time and see you all soon.
Love,

Matteo

Little Albert Experiment

Thanks to everyone who came to play with Neurocomic at the first Imperial Fringe night! (it was really fun to draw zombie comics with you kids)

In case you couldn’t make it, here is the science-horror comic we were giving away.

We still have a few copies left so if you want some for your Halloween party let me know.

Farinella - Little Albert Experiment

Farinella - Little Albert Experiment

Farinella - Little Albert Experiment

Farinella - Little Albert Experiment

Farinella - Little Albert Experiment

Farinella - Little Albert Experiment

PS: someone the other night was asking me what happened to Watson and Little Albert after the experiment. Well, here is a more complete (and possibly even more terrifying!) version of the story.

The Water Cycle

It is again that time of the year when I have to draw something for my favourite Italian fanzine. The topic of the next issue is cycle and once again it inspired me a sad love story (with a scientific twist). It also gave me an opportunity to experiment a little bit with what I call hypercomics. Although, since last Wednesday Randall Munroe published click and drag this word assumed a whole new meaning. If you haven’t seen it yet I strongly recommend you to take a few minutes to explore this comic masterpiece. But first of all, enjoy The Water Cycle:

Water Cycle(click on the picture to enlarge it and read it full size)

Still life with pyramidal neuron


Matteo Farinella Opioid Receptors

Here is a neuroscience illustration which I realized for the first issue of Ionic Magazine (soon to be published). I’m really looking forward to this amazing project, which asked artists to interpret and illustrate some interesting science articles (the one assigned to me was about opioid receptors, the secret of pleasure and pain).

I will bring this, together with some Neurocomic originals at the Thinking through Drawing exhibition, at Wimbledon College from the 12th to the 14th of September. Come and say “hello”, if you’re around.

NOTE (for the fussy scientists): I’m aware that these are normal poppies, rather than Papaver somniferum but I am taking an artistic licence here, roll with it.

Science Museum Comics

I have started a collaboration with Jared Keller, from the Science Museum. He is going to write a series of 6 short articles about some of the best kept secrets of the museum, and I am going to illustrate each one of them. The first piece is about an amazing automated fire-burglar alarm from 1939.

Image

I am not going to post all the drawings here, so if you want to be updated about old-fashioned science marvels follow me on twitter or read the Science Museum Blog (which is always a good idea, anyway).

Multi-Scale Modelling

Multi-Scale Modeling

As anticipated this blog is into a stall, while all my drawing time goes in to neurocomic these days.

However I won’t miss a good chance to combine art and science: so here is a poster commissioned to me by some friends at the university of Lübeck, who are organizing a workshop on Multi-Scale Modelling with python and GENESIS 3

I hope this manages to make the field of computational neuroscience more aesthetically appealing, and if you’re in to it don’t miss the excellent workshop (3 – 8 September 2012).

A Most Famous Brain

Henry Gustav Molaison (who became famous as ‘HM‘ in neuroscience textbooks) was born on February 26, 1926. After a bicycle accident at the age of 7 he suffered from debilitating epilepsy and in 1953 he underwent neuron surgery in an attempt to contain seizures.

Doctors localised HM’s epilepsy in his medio-temporal lobes and removed a large part of the hippocampus in both hemispheres. At the time they had no idea of how crucial these areas are for the normal functioning of the human brain…

Soon after the operation it became clear that something was wrong. HM suffered from severe anterograde amnesia: he was otherwise normal but no longer able to commit events to memory. He would not remember the newspaper he had just read or the people he met a few minutes ago, he was stuck in the present.

For the rest of his life HM was studied intensively, revolutionising the understanding of human memory. He provided broad evidence for the rejection of old theories and the formation of new theories on human memory and the underlying neural structures.

When HM died in 2008, neuroscientists were provided with the most extensively studied brain in history. This anatomical treasure was entrusted to Dr. Jacopo Annese in the University of California, San Diego, who acquired 2041 slices of HM’s brain and made them available to study.

Dr. Annese is the founder of the Brain Observatory, an ambitious project which aims to collect as much information as possible on brain donors, in the hope that one day we will be able to track the connection between the brain structure and our life history.

For more information check out the HM project on the brain observatory website, or listen to Dr. Annese talk at the Wellcome Collection recorded for  BBC4 All In The Mind series (which inspired this comic!).