An illustration to be submitted for consideration for the cover of 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 illustrate the request. We also have an idea 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 will describe one process going on in the brain cells responsible for motor movement, more specifically about motor memory (the result of motor learning). Motor learning allows us to recall motor coordination we have learned for us to interact with the environment. Playing the piano, catching a ball, gymnastics, and riding a bike are all examples of motor memory. Motor memory is stored in specialized neurons called Purkinje cells. The main discovery that the authors would like to illustrate is the fact that other type of neurons, called interneurons, communicate with the Purkinje cells in order to control how strong that learning should be in the Purkinje cells.
- The authors are looking for a creative way of illustrating this effect. They have a very nice idea of a metaphor that would like you to explore:
• The Purkinje cell is set on a dial (see attachment 1), and the dial represents the extent of motor learning that is occurring.
• The Purkinje cell is surrounded by interneurons (the red, yellow and blue small neurons). These interneurons are coordinating how intense the motor learning should be in the Purkinje cell. It will help to illustrate the effect of different type of interneurons if the branches of the Purkinje cell are colored with the same three colors of the interneurons (maybe in a gradient that matches the colors of the interneurons along the dial).
• Attachment 2 shows a scientific image of a Purkinje cell. The morphology of this neuron is very particular and sophisticated (with a lot of thick and ramified branches going up and a very thin branch going down), so it will be great if you could recreate or keep the morphology of the Purkinje cell as close as possible with the real image.
• Motor learning is illustrated by the gymnast different movements along the dial. This enhances the representation of the main result of this publication. On the left of the dial, the gymnast performance starts very strong by using the platform. The waveform below the gymnast platform is an actual electrophysiological wave, and it will be great if you could please illustrate the original electrophysiological result (wave) below the platform. On the right of the dial, the gymnast performance ends with a landing. In this case, the electrophysiological wave is much smaller. It will also be great if you could please illustrate a similar smaller wave below the landing. Keep in mind that the difference in size of the electrophysiological waves is key to explain the main result of this publication.
- Finally, it is great if you could include the meter in the illustration also. This will help to illustrate the idea of movement.
P.S.: The younger daughter of the main author of this paper is a gymnast, and he really likes this idea to illustrate his publication.