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Many different colors come together in a photo of a chicken's brain. This colorful phototgraph shows inside a baby chick's brain. The long grey rods at the top of the photo allow chickens to see. (Andy Fischer)

Mapping the Mind

What does the human mind look like?

By Zach Jones | null null , null

People have tried to understand how the brain works for thousands of years. To this day, the brain is still a mystery. That's why scientists are constantly inventing new ways to photograph the human mind.

Recently, Carl Schoonover put together some of these images in his new book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain From Antiquity to the 21st Century.

Schoonover is studying to be a neuroscientist (someone who studies the brain). In his studies, he came across many beautiful pictures of the brain. He even put snapshots of particularly pretty brains in his wallet-next to pictures of his family and friends!

Don't believe brains could be so beautiful? Take a look at some of his photographs in this slideshow.

Some of the pictures Schoonover picked don't look like what we think brains look like at all. They look more like pasta, fireworks, or balloons.

To create some of these pictures, neurologists inserted glowing liquid into brains of people and animals. They then photographed specific parts of the brain, like neurons that hold memories.

Other photographers from the book used special cameras that can magnify (make larger) some of the brain's tiniest bits, and colorful X-ray technology to map out what happens when humans use their brains to think or see.

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