Neural Architectures Opening Reception

Our opening reception for the Neural Architectures exhibition celebrates the beauty of brain imagery with presentations from curator Benjamin Bollmann and Carl E. Schoonover, author of Portraits of the Mind.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


March 15, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

To open the exhibition, Neural Architectures, we celebrate the beauty of brain imagery with presentations from curator Benjamin Bollmann and Carl E. Schoonover, author of Portraits of the Mind.

Portraits collects images of the brain from medieval sketches to scans captured in today’s labs for an amazing tour of the mind, with descriptions of each technique from leading neuroscientists. Book signing during the reception in collaboration with Book Passage.


6:30 pm  doors open
7:00 pm  opening remarks and presentation by Benjamin Bollmann
7:15 pm  talk by Carl E. Schoonover
8:30 pm  reception
9:30 pm  doors close


Benjamin Bollmann

Benjamin Bollmann is the curator of Neural Architectures, which premiered at the  University of Zurich in 2010 in partnership with the Institute of Neuroinformatics. Bollmann obtained his bachelor’s in electrical engineering and his master’s in biomedical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). He also worked as a research assistant in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.


Carl E. Schoonover

Carl E. Schoonover is a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience and a National Science Foundation graduate fellow at Columbia University. He is author of Portraits of the Mind and has written for The Huffington Post, Scientific American, Design Observer, Science Magazine, Le Figaro, Commentaire, BoingBoing, and LiveScience. He co-founded NeuWrite, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between, and he hosts a radio show on WKCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera, classical music, and their relationship to the brain.

More Info

Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century (Abrams, November 2010) follows the fascinating exploration of the brain through images. These beautiful black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. From medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, readers are invited to witness the fantastic networks in the brain.

Each chapter in Portraits of the Mind addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain, and each is introduced with an essay by a leading scientist in that field. Extended captions provide detailed explanations of each image as well as the major insights gained by scientists over the course of the past twenty years. The result is a peek at the mind’s innermost workings, helping readers to understand, and offering clues about what may lie ahead.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos