The art of preprocessing

 In neuroaesthetics, neuroimaging

I never stop being amazed by the pure aesthetics of data output.

I especially favour the non-directed output that’s originally intended for nerdy observation. I guess having a wife that is an artist helps having an alternative eye on visual input (and, by all means, other sensory input)

The above example is taken from the “simple” preprocessing step of co-registering two kinds of MRI images; the EPI series (fMRI) and the structural scan. It is taken from an fMRI study I’m doing on the effects of brands on the responses of the brain’s valuation system.

The pictures display the result from a basic step of fMRI preprocessing in SPM8. Nerdy output used to check computation success…but it’s interesting to see how aesthetics can unfold like this. I bet there are many people who find this somewhat gloomy. My mind forcefully tells me that there are faces there, torsos at the least.

Does the beauty of a sky full of star go away just because you learn more about the stars, that some are planets, others galaxies? IMO, knowledge most often enriches those aesthetic experiences.

Beauty can indeed be in a grain of sand.

-Thomas

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