Kampos by Louise Gresham

Kampos by Louise Gresham

There seems to exist a subtle, yet consistent, symmetry between the brain and nature, as if the nervous system is molded to echo the world that it functions to perceive. My portrayal of the hippocampus, as visualized using fluorescent proteins with confocal microscopy, aims to reflect this symmetry. The hippocampus is aptly named from the Greek hippos, meaning “horse”, and kampos, meaning “sea monster”, for its resemblance to the exquisite form of the seahorse. Indeed, camouflaged within the curve of pyramidal neurons of the Cornu Ammonis is the soft outline of an inverted seahorse, as if hiding under the protective cap of the dentate gyrus. Known for its critical role in learning and long-term memory, the hippocampus archives our collections of knowledge and experience that come to shape our emotion and behaviour. Ironically, the capacity to recognize the shape here as a seahorse is by virtue of our declarative memory, encoded by the hippocampus. Within the animal kingdom, the seahorse, despite its unmistakable shape, is expert in the art of camouflage. I imagine our capacity for long-term memory by the hippocampus is, in many ways, fundamental to our individual consciousness; vulnerable to experience, our memories colour our canvas and, for better or for worse, paint the unique form of our “sea monster”, masterfully camouflaged within the tangle of our memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*