This is an historical archive of the activities of the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit (MRC ANU) that operated at the University of Oxford from 1985 until March 2015. The MRC ANU established a reputation for world-leading research on the brain, for training new generations of scientists, and for engaging the general public in neuroscience. The successes of the MRC ANU are now built upon at the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford.

News- Artist Visit: "Exploring the Entwined Nature of our Biological and Cultural Selves"

Artist Helen Pynor visited the Basal Ganglia Lab on the 23rd June. Helen's artworks often involve scientific concepts and she has a particular interest in biology. In her work Helen is interested in attempting to incorporate a holistic view of the body, considering the biological basis as well as cultural concept of self. Prior to her current profession as a fine artist (including completing her PhD at the University of Sydney), she had a brief career as a scientific researcher. This may have influenced her approach to her art practice, which is highly research-driven.

Megan Dowie showed Helen some of the equipment and techniques we use, from the gross level of sectioning whole brains, through to immunohistochemistry and the nano-scale of electron microscopy. Helen enjoyed her visit to the Unit, saying it was great to actually see the processes we use to obtain our data, as well as seeing the beauty of neurons down the microscopes.

There is currently a show of Helen Pynor's work at GV Art Galleryin London until 2 July.

More of Helen's work can be viewed on her website.


Liquid Ground 1 (detail), Helen Pynor, 2010, C-type photograph, 160 x 110cm. Courtesy the artist and GV Art, London.Headache (detail), Helen Pynor, 2008, C-type photograph, 173 x 39cm. Courtesy the artist and GV Art, London.