Show Us Your BRAINs! Photo & Video Contest

Neuroscience has come a long way since the hand drawings of Ramón y Cajal. Innovative technology continues to capture the wonder and beauty of the brain. We want to showcase the amazing images and videos from your research. Each year, regardless of discipline, career stage, or funding source, we invite all those engaged in the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative to enter your coolest, most artistic, and eye-catching images or short videos in The BRAIN Initiative® Show Us Your BRAINs! Photo & Video Contest.

For each year’s contest, the BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting Program Committee reviews anonymized submissions and narrows the field to submissions they feel capture the creative spirit of the BRAIN Initiative. Finalists’ submissions are then posted online and open for public voting. The top three photos and top three videos are announced as part of the annual BRAIN Initiative Meeting – WITH PRIZES!

Congratulations to the 2022 Show Us Your BRAINs! Photo and Video Contest Winners!

Neurons In Action  - First Place Video Winner

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FIRST PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Neurons In Action
Functional activity measured in vivo with 2-Photon imaging with matching morphologies from the same neurons measured with electron microscopy.​

By Andreas Tolias, Jacob Reimer, R.J. Cotton, Xaq Pitkow, Nuno da Costa, Forrest Collman, Clay Reid, and Sebastian Seung, Baylor College of Medicine, Allen Institute, Princeton University, Northwestern University/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab


Ictal Cinema  - Second Place Video Winner

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SECOND PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Ictal Cinema
Transforming intracranial recordings of an ongoing seizure into a heatmap (line length transform) using a reconstruction of the patient's own brain.​

By Jon Kleen, University of California San Francisco


Pyramidal Christmas Tree  - Third Place Video Winner

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THIRD PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Pyramidal Christmas Tree
A rendering of an electron microscope reconstruction of a layer 5 cortical neuron from the MICrONs dataset, where input synapses are blinking lights.​

By Forrest Collman, Allen Institute for Brain Science


The Intersection of Memory and Memory  - First Place Photo Winner. A cluster of neurons in a mouse hippocampus colored green and blue with a few active neurons colored red.

FIRST PLACE PHOTO WINNER

The Intersection of Memory and Memory
Two memories captured under the microscope. Peering into the hippocampus of a mouse using viral technology and optogenetics.​

By Stephanie Grella, Boston University


Mindmap – The Intricate Wiring of The Human Brain  - Second Place Photo Winner. A colorful image in green, purple, blue, pink, and yellow created using diffusion MRI tractography shows brain activity on a black background.

SECOND PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Mindmap – The Intricate Wiring of The Human Brain
Brain activity is orchestrated by propagating information between brain regions through fiber tracts, visualized via diffusion MRI tractography.​

By Sahar Ahmad, Ye Wu, and Pew-Thian Yap, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Zebrafish Brain Thinking Abraham Lincoln  - Third Place Photo Winner. Image taken from Zebrafish brain tissue shows fluorescent blue and pink colors against a black background. The shape of the tissue section looks like Abraham Lincoln's side profile.

THIRD PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Zebrafish Brain Thinking Abraham Lincoln
Image taken from a Zebrafish brain tissue section, synaptophysin as the primary antibody, Alexa555 and DAPI as secondary antibody, and looks like Abraham Lincoln's side profile.​

By Esengül Öztürk, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University

 

Check out the winning entries from past Show Us Your BRAINs! Photo & Video Contests below.

Download the 2022 BRAIN Initiative single page calendar (PDF, 5.8MB)
Featuring the top entries from the 2021 BRAIN Initiative Photo & Video Contest

FIRST PLACE VIDEO WINNER

DBS Lead Placement for OCD

360 degree view of deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead placement in one participant that underwent DBS surgery for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

By Nicole Provenza, Raissa Mathura, Noam Peled, Evan Dastin-van Rijn, Kelly Bijanki, Sameer Sheth, David Borton, Wayne Goodman, Brown University, Baylor College of Medicine

SECOND PLACE VIDEO WINNER (TIE)

Pyramidal Tract Reconstruction in vivo

Pyramidal tract of an HCP subject reconstructed in vivo using Radial DSI and ODF-Fingerprinting. Improved reconstruction of fibers crossing at shallow angles ensured by ODF-Fingerprinting allowed to reproduce the reach fanning shape of cortical terminations of the tract. Images were rendered in DSI Studio.

By Patryk Filipiak, Timothy Shepherd, Ying-Chia Lin, Dimitris G. Placantonakis, Fernando E. Boada, Steven H. Baete, New York University School of Medicine

SECOND PLACE VIDEO WINNER (TIE)

Non-invasive in vivo Mapping of the Human Amygdala Circuit

Tractography of three critical amygdala pathways: the ventral amygdalofugal pathway, the stria terminalis and then amygdala-prefrontal pathway.

By Josue Avecillas-Chasin, Ausaf Bari, Jean-Philippe Langevin, University of California, Los Angeles

 

 

THIRD PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Reconstructed Mouse Cervical Spinal Cord

Serially sectioned spinal cord with marked coordinates of V1-Interneurons and cells infected by neuronal tracer pseudorabies virus -3D reconstructed.

By Jamie Anne Mortel, Salk Institute

microscopic image of mouse brain scan with fluorescent solor scheme

FIRST PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Thinking About a Greener Future

Mouse brain showing green AAV-transduced cells in the cortex and hippocampus. Neurons are labeled red and nuclei are blue.

By Allen Yen, Washington University School of Medicine

microscopic image of mouse nerons with metal probe

SECOND PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Model of Mouse V1 with a Neuropixels Probe

This rendering of a model of mouse primary visual cortex with a Neuropixels probe was created using a new tool, VND (Visual Neuronal Dynamics).

By Barry Isralewitz, John Stone, Mariano Spivak, Kael Dai, Josh Siegle, Emad Tajkhorshid, and Anton Arkhipov, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Allen Institute

microscopic image of mouse neruon

THIRD PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Neuron on Fire

Hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neuron in the mouse, recorded from the distal dendrite using patch clamp electrophysiology. The recorded location is visible as the gap in the dendrite. The neuron was filled with biocytin during recording and immunostained with streptavidin-647 post hoc. Confocal image was filtered using ImageJ.

By Olesia Bilah, New York university

 

Download the 2021 BRAIN Initiative Calendar (PDF – 2.18 MB)
Featuring the top entries from the 2020 BRAIN Initiative Photo & Video Contest

Intact whole-brain imaging of neurons  - First Place winner

FIRST PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Intact Whole-brain Imaging of Neurons

Thy1-GFP mouse brain optically cleared and imaged with the Zeiss Light-sheet Z.1 microscope using a Mesoscale Imaging System.

By Sunil Gandhi, Ricardo Azevedo and Damian Wheeler, University of California, Irvine and Translucence Biosystems

Reconstructing the mind of a worm  - Second Place winner

SECOND PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Reconstructing the Mind of a Worm

The C. elegans brain, including every nerve and muscle fiber, being reconstructed by serial-section electron microscopy.

By Daniel Witvliet, University of Toronto and Harvard University

Fly through a fly brain - third Place winner

THIRD PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Fly Through a Fly Brain

These cells were reconstructed by artificial intelligence from Princeton University's Murthy Seung Lab using electron microscope images HHMI Janelia.

By Amy Sterling, Princeton University and EyeWire

Cortical Forest - First Place winner

FIRST PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Cortical Forest

Mouse Layer V cortical neurons eYFP-labeled (Thy1-H) and imaged after CLARITY processing of a whole brain. Maximum projection with depth color coding.

By Linus Manubens-Gil and Jim Swoger, Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG) and EMBL Mesoscopic Imaging Facility

Radiating Neurons - Second Place winner

SECOND PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Radiating Neurons

4-week-old rat cortical neurons labeled for dendrites (red), axons (green), and nuclei (blue).

By Karthik Krishnamurthy, Davide Trotti, and Piera Pasinelli, Thomas Jefferson University

The waterdrop hippocampus - third Place winner

THIRD PLACE PHOTO WINNER

The Ephemeral Hippocampus

The brain is everywhere to us neuroscientists. This exquisite 'hippocampus', with delicate dendrites, is actually a waterdrop captured at highspeed.

By Tallie Z. Baram, Jeremy Barry, and Joan Morris, University of California, Irvine, © 2017 Joan Morris (www.joanmorrisartist.com)

 

 

 

High-Resolution MORF3-labeled Hippocampal Neurons  - First Place winner

FIRST PLACE VIDEO WINNER

High-Resolution MORF3-labeled Hippocampal Neurons

Using MORF3 and SHIELD, pyramidal neurons were sparsely labeled and imaged at very high resolution deep within a whole hemisphere.

By X. William Yang and Kwanghun (KC) Chung, University of California, Los Angeles and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

3D Diffusion Tractography  - Second Place winner

SECOND PLACE VIDEO WINNER

3D Diffusion Tractography

In neuroscience, tractography is a 3D modeling technique used to visually represent nerve tracts using data collected by diffusion MRI.

By James Stanis, University of Southern California Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute

Neural Circuit in the Storm - third Place winner

THIRD PLACE VIDEO WINNER

Neural Circuit in The Storm

3D image of parvalbumin+ neurons (red, neurites; green, presynaptic puncta) swimming through the waves of GAD1+ (cyan) neurons.

By Young-Gyun Park, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Light Me Up Picture - First Place winner

FIRST PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Light Me Up!

Light-based rendering of deep brain stimulation’s electrical excitation of neuronal fiber pathways to treat patients with traumatic brain injury.

By Andrew Janson, University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute

Dancing Devils - Second Place winner

SECOND PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Dancing Devils

Mouse hippocampal neuron stained for f-actin (red) and tubulin (green).

By Sharada Tilve, NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Neural Circuit in the Storm - third Place winner

THIRD PLACE PHOTO WINNER

Neural Circuit in The Storm

3D image of parvalbumin+ neurons (red, neurites; green, presynaptic puncta) swimming through the waves of GAD1+ (cyan) neurons.

By Young-Gyun Park, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)