The Brain Index is an interactive digital installation at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia University. Uniting art, science, electronic data, and information design, it invites visitors to consider the brain from a different perspective and to explore the current research of the neuroscientists working upstairs in the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.
The purpose of the installation is to engage the public, capture their imagination, encourage wonder and reward curiosity by vividly communicating the complexities of the research and why it matters. It tells the stories of individual researchers and unravels their work that pushes the boundaries of neuroscience through broadly accessible interactive stories combining narrative text and illustrations, information design, laboratory simulations, and research artifacts.
The multiscreen floor-to-ceiling display flies the viewer through different large-scale visualization models of the brain while door-sized high-resolution monitors track, highlight and visually detail the parts of the brain that relate to the research being introduced. At key moments in the choreography, the tracking screens descend to the lobby visitors to engage with them through interactive research stories, unravelling the complexities of cognition, sensory perception, decision making, learning and memory, addiction and reward, neural networks, and DNA sequencing.