Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo's Separation of Light From Darkness in the Sistine Chapel
Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA. Neurosurgery
(Impact Factor: 3.62).
05/2010; 66(5):851-61; discussion 860-1. DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000368101.34523.E1
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was a master anatomist as well as an artistic genius. He dissected cadavers numerous times and developed a profound understanding of human anatomy. From 1508 to 1512, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. His Sistine Chapel frescoes are considered one of the monumental achievements of Renaissance art. In the winter of 1511, Michelangelo entered the final stages of the Sistine Chapel project and painted 4 frescoes along the longitudinal apex of the vault, which completed a series of 9 central panels depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis. It is reported that Michelangelo concealed an image of the brain in the first of these last 4 panels, namely, the Creation of Adam. Here we present evidence that he concealed another neuronanatomic structure in the final panel of this series, the Separation of Light From Darkness, specifically a ventral view of the brainstem. The Separation of Light From Darkness is an important panel in the Sistine Chapel iconography because it depicts the beginning of Creation and is located directly above the altar. We propose that Michelangelo, a deeply religious man and an accomplished anatomist, intended to enhance the meaning of this iconographically critical panel and possibly document his anatomic accomplishments by concealing this sophisticated neuroanatomic rendering within the image of God.
Available from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- "A possible early example is Michelangelo's " Creation of Adam " in the Sistine Chapel, which is said to employ an outline of the brain in God's cloud, as a metaphor for the neural basis of creativity (Meshberger, 1990; Lakke, 1999). Others have seen evidence of additional neuroanatomic images in the Sistine frescoes (Suk and Tamargo, 2010). Depictions of brain mechanisms become particularly compelling when displayed in public exhibitions of walk-in renderings of neural images, accompanied by recordings of neural activity, as in the " Mindscape " project (O'Shea and Sneltvedt, 2006). "
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ABSTRACT: The symbiotic relationships between art and the brain begin with the obvious fact that brain mechanisms underlie the creation and appreciation of art. Conversely, many spectacular images of neural structures have remarkable aesthetic appeal. But beyond its fascinating forms, the many functions performed by brain mechanisms provide a profound subject for aesthetic exploration. Complex interactions in the tangled neural networks in our brain miraculously generate coherent behavior and cognition. Neuroscientists tackle these phenomena with specialized methodologies that limit the scope of exposition and are comprehensible to an initiated minority. Artists can perform an end run around these limitations by representing the brain's remarkable functions in a manner that can communicate to a wide and receptive audience. This paper explores the ways that brain mechanisms can provide a largely untapped subject for artistic exploration.
Available from: Wenping Cao
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ABSTRACT: The effect on the efficiency, and particularly the effect on the stray load loss of induction motors due to the process of repair and rewinding, are considered. To assess these changes, a range of induction motors covering powers between 5.5 and 225 kW has been very carefully tested both before and after rewinding. The sources of loss in induction motors are several, and all apart from stray load loss can be determined experimentally with reasonable accuracy. Stray load loss, however, is more challenging. The standard experimental approach of input-output power measurement, using the IEEE 112-B or C390 technique, is frequently used to evaluate stray load loss but has limitations. A limited set of results obtained by calorimetric methods has been used to validate the standard test methods. The most significant changes to the loss in induction motors caused by the repair process would be expected to be to stator copper loss, to core loss and to stray load loss. This is shown to be the case but the overall effect is normally less than 0.5% loss of efficiency. Occasionally efficiency loss up to 0.7% occurs for motors with core faults from new. With random-wire-wound machines, it is possible to compensate somewhat for this increase in core and stray load loss by using a 'tight' winding to reduce the copper loss. The trade associations of machine repairers EASA (USA) and AEMT (UK) sponsor the work as part of research into the influence of electric motor repair on machine losses.
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