Today I would like to tell you story behind one of my very first pieces of art that I made when starting NeuroBead.
During my scientific career, I have always been fascinated by the complexity of human brain architecture, and the ability of neurons to make the right connections in this labyrinth. When a neuronal cell develops, it extends a delicate membrane, called a growth cone, to probe its surrounding environment. The growth cone can sense positive and negative signals, resulting in attraction and repulsion to a certain path. When a positive signal is present, the growth cone begins to slowly turn in its direction, to find the way towards its target.
These growth cones are important not only during early development, but also after traumatic injury. Just like people, cells need to not only overcome the barriers in their way, but start navigating in the new, uncharted territory they enter. These survivors need extrinsic factors to guide them towards their new potential targets. What makes it particularly hard is that the guidance signals that existed in the early part of life (i.e. development) are gone at later stages. Sometimes you don’t know where to turn. The question is – will you be guided in the right direction, get lost, or find a new home in a different place?
“Guidance” is available for purchase here.