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The Beautiful Brain explores the latest findings from the ever-growing field of neuroscience through monthly podcasts, essays, reviews, galleries and more, with particular attention to the dialogue between the arts and sciences. The site illuminates important new questions about creativity, the mind of the artist, and the mind of the observer that modern neuroscience is helping us to answer, or at least to provide part of an answer. Instances where art seeks to answer questions of a traditionally scientific nature are also of great interest, and for that reason you will hear from artists as well as scientists on The Beautiful Brain.


noah1NOAH HUTTON (Founder, Contributing Editor) graduated from Wesleyan University in 2009 where he studied art history and neuroscience. In 2008, he co-curated “Pop to the Present,” a six-month exhibition at the Wadsworth Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. His first documentary feature film, Crude Independence, was an official selection of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival, won Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Oxford Film Festival, screened at over ten other major film festivals and was released in September 2009. He currently resides in New York City where he is the Creative Director of Couple 3, a production house for independent media. In the fall of 2009, he traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, to begin filming a new documentary about The Blue Brain Project, and in 2010 he will direct More to Live For, a documentary feature produced by M3 Films. He can be reached at [email protected].


SAMUEL D. MCDOUGLE (Contributor, Author of re:COGNITION) is a musician and a lab rat.  He splits this time between behavioral neuroscience research at the University of Pennsylvania, playing fiddle in an Appalachian string-band, and drumming in an indie rock trio. Sam holds a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College, where he focused his studies on cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology while enthusiastically dabbling in philosophy.  He currently researches in Dr. Javier Medina’s lab at UPenn investigating the neural basis of motor learning– specifically learned reflex timing– using tools from neuropsychology, in vivo neurophysiology and computational neuroscience.  Sam’s musical credits include performances with his band, The Powder Kegs, at various prominent festivals and clubs in the US (including a 2007 performance reaching millions of viewers worldwide on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion), two acclaimed full length albums, and an EP.  He plays fiddle with folk artists including Adrienne Young, Alex Caton, and in his Appalachian string-band The Philadelphia Colonels.  Sam was born and raised in New York City and now happily resides in Philadelphia where he has no pets, no children, and 6 different stringed instruments (and counting).  He can be reached for questions, comments, criticism, and praise at [email protected].

Ben Ehrlich BENJAMIN EHRLICH (Contributor) graduated from Middlebury College in 2009 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literary Studies.  His research interests included the bildungsroman—or coming-of-age narrative—and the critical relationship of Vladimir Nabokov to Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Since college, he has become intensely interested in neuroscience through the life and work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.  The Nobel Prize-winning “father of modern neuroscience” discovered neurons, which he called “butterflies of the soul.”  Ben is currently at work translating Cajal’s writings on literature, and a blog he keeps about that project can be found here.  He can be reached at [email protected].