psychiatrist dr. karen norberg adds to the ongoing fascination with cerebral art (see more projects here and here) with her anatomically correct, knitted model of the human brain. dr. norberg spent a year knitting the body’s most complex organ, using cotton yarns in different colors to represent its various parts – such as pink for the hippocampus, and a mix of pastel green and cream for the frontal cortex.

psychiatrist knits anatomically correct model of the human brainall images courtesy of dr. karen norberg, collection of the boston museum of science



dr. norberg, part of the national bureau of economic research in cambridge, massachusetts, knitted each individual part separately before putting them together. 1.5 times larger than its real size, the scientifically accurate brain replica features properly connected parts, which can be viewed in detail by undoing the zip that connects the two hemispheres.

psychiatrist knits anatomically correct model of the human brain
image via womensart



‘for me, there were two humorous aspects. one was simply to undertake such a ridiculously complex, time consuming project for no practical reason,’ a dr. norberg quote reads in the telegraph, ‘the second was the idea of making a somewhat mysterious and difficult object – a brain – out of a ‘cuddly’, cheerfully coloured, familiar material like cotton yarn.’

psychiatrist knits anatomically correct model of the human brain



‘the process of construction was much more similar to the actual growth of a real brain than it would have been if I’d been using a material such as clay or metal,’ she mentions. ‘you can see very naturally how the ‘rippling’ effect of the cerebral cortex emerges from properties that probably have to do with nerve cell growth. in the case of knitting, the effect is created by increasing the number of stitches in each row.’