The first meeting

Certainly the first meeting could be a nervous encounter. What will they say? What if I can’t answer their questions? What if I don’t understand? Even more so when the conversations are about the central nervous system.

From the artist or the scientists’ point of view, a cross-disciplinary collaboration can be nerve racking. But exciting.

When we had artists from the Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science course visit our lab again in the last few weeks, the uncertainty soon left us.

There are 10 artists working with neuroscientists in the basal ganglia lab group. These artists put forward proposals following an initial visit late in 2011.

Their interests are diverse, from the morphology (or shape) of a neuron when reconstructed in 3D, to the equipment we use, to what drew us into wanting to be scientists.

Circuit diagram of the basal ganglia. STN, subthalamic nucleus; GPe, globus pallidus externus; GPi, globus pallidus internus; SNr, substantia nigra pars reticulata; SNc substantia nigra pars compacta.

Our research group study the basal ganglia; a series of interconnected brain regions involved primarily in movement control. We investigate function in physiologically normal conditions as well as in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. This is investigated in models of disease using various electrophysiological and anatomical techniques.

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  1. [...] first it wasn’t certain Rafaela’s curiosities could be addressed by the basal ganglia lab. But conveniently Cristian Gonzalez Cabrera, a collaborator visiting from Chile, does research [...]