An illustration to be submitted for consideration for the cover the prestigious scientific journal, Neuron. The illustration needs to depict the main findings of an important publication from our scientists that will be included in the issue of the journal. We'll describe what the scientists are requesting, along with some attachments to help describe the request. We also have an idea or two, but appreciate creativity :) If there are any questions about the scientific explanation below that may help you generate an idea for the illustration, please feel free to get in touch with us.
- The illustration should depict two main things: a neuron (a particular type of neuron called a cerebellum stellate cell) and the finding/discovery that along different parts of the neuron's axons, action potentials (electrical pulses) of varying amplitude have been observed. To help provide a little background, if necessary, neurons communicate via their dendrites and axons, made possible through electrical pulses that travel along the axon. We've attached some images to help explain the basic idea. Our scientists discovered that these action potentials are varying along different parts of the axons within the same neuron.
- A basic idea to illustrate this would be to illustrate the neuron and show different action potential waves next to/on top of/behind different parts of the axons.
- One idea we had, for anyone that's familiar with Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures" album, was to somehow incorporate a similar idea with the background (See Attach 6 below), making the axons fall around/on top of different action potentials in the background. This was just a fun idea if anyone wanted to tackle it.
Attach 1 cell: this is from the scientist's experiment and shows what the neuron looks like. I've outlined the different parts of the cell and what parts to ignore/not include in the illustration. The scientist said the neuron in the illustration could be based on this one, but it doesn't have to be. It should just be true to the shape/structure of the cerebellum stellate cell (as there are many different types of neurons shaped differently). The axons show up lighter in this image, but are the most important part of the illustration (as that's where the action potentials were studied) - so the cell body/dendrites should still appear in the illustration, but with less emphasis.
Attach 2: This is an example of another cerebellum stellate cell structure
Attach 3 APs: this shows the shape of 3 different Action Potentials found in the study. I know they look very similar, but their subtle differences really are important. The colors aren't important, but different colors could be used in the illustration to help show the difference in the APs along different parts of the axons. Places to focus on in the axons could be the bright spots you see in Attach 1
Attach 4: this just shows what the scientist was doing (using an electrode to obtain an electrical reading) - but we thought it may help with the big picture :)
Attach 5: again, we thought this would just help illustrate what our scientist was doing to help provide a bigger picture.