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April 20, 1999

Axon Forest

A group of pyramidal cell axons simultaneously convey a burst of spikes from one cortical layer to another. The bits of "fire" depicted on the axons represent spikes of electrical activity that travel down the axon and carry information within the brain.

More about this image:
Despite the large number of cells pictured in this visualization, this would only be a small percentage of the total number of cells found in an actual cortex. The space between the axons would be filled with other axons, other types of neurons and other cell types such as glial cells.

This still image was derived from animations developed by Greg Hood, John Burkardt and Greg Foss of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. The work contributed to the planetarium show "Gray Matters: The Brain Movie," which debuted in 1999 at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"Gray Matters" was a collaboration between the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and PSC. The work was supported in part by a U.S. National Science Foundation grant (DRL 9705491). (Date of image: 1999)

Credit: Image courtesy Greg Hood, John Burkardt and Greg Foss; Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

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