Winning Photo of a Brain in a Jar

Dr Patrick Brundell, Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science, has won the Innovation category of the National Science Photography
BrainCompetition organised by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

His winning image shows a spookily-lit, animated ‘brain in a jar’ to illustrate the effect of horror films on brain waves.

It was during Halloween 2014 that the Thrill Laboratory presented the live public broadcast of the experiment that generated the image. A subject’s real-time neurological data was monitored, interpreted, and streamed online for viewer interaction at home. Data was also projected for the cinema audience, and used to animate the brain-in-a-jar.

The underlying technology platform allows data from any sensor to drive any conceivable remote animated object or interactive visualisation. The platform is massively scalable, enabling audiences to engage with data either locally or distributed worldwide over the web.

A wide range of applications is scheduled to generate and study impact across the Creative Industries, including multimedia TV broadcast and thrill rides.

The experiment was commissioned by Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema for the Mayhem Film Festival, and made possible by the Performing Data research project at the University of Nottingham’s Horizon RCUK Digital Economy Research Institute, led by EPSRC.

Winning images for all the categories can be seen at