connectogram

You’re looking at a brain. But not really.

Connectograms are an intersection of data, neuroscience, design and art. This represents the inter-brain-region connections of 110 right-handed men, with various color codes indicated to show how strong those connections are in various ways. The Wikipedia page can decode the regions around the edge for you.

Studying the wiring of the brain is essential to understanding it. But it is not sufficient to understand it. We love to share beautiful images of brain mapping studies (I do it all the time), but relying on mapping alone is like clicking through Google Maps and saying you’ve been to Paris. 

There’s just something missing, right? And that something is us. Except that we must be in there, because we can’t exist outside of that. But why can’t we distill our “us-ness” from the map of all the pieces?

But does this map show you a brain? Does it show you a person? What’s the difference?