The Brain Project

The Stone Age Institute has sponsored a brain sculpture for a community art project in Bloomington, Indiana. 



The Stone Age Institute Brain will be on public exhibit at 744 E. 3rd Street in Bloomington, Indiana from May – October, 2012.  Click here for a map.

Sponsor: The Stone Age Institute, Drs. Kathy Schick and Nicholas Toth, Directors.
Artists: Jon and Patricia Hecker of Tattoo Dreams.
Theme: “Evolution and Science Education.”


The Stone Age Institute Brain has been painted to reflect how the human brain has evolved.

Which neural areas have expanded the most over the course of human evolution? *
To find out, see the colors on the SAI brain sculpture, and the color code that follows:

Yellow: The most expansion relative to a “primitive” brain.
Light orange: Significant expansion
Dark orange: Less expansion
Blue: Little or no expansion (the more “primitive” areas of our brain)

The areas of the human brain that have expanded the most in our evolution (shown in yellow) are up to 32 times larger in humans than in a more “primitive” brain! These yellow areas are involved in higher cognitive functions in humans, and include areas of the frontal (front), parietal (upper side), and temporal (lower side) lobes of the brain.*


The artists, Patricia and Jon Hecker, decorated the SAI Brain with “tattoo” images and words that artistically reflect functions of the brain in the different regions. Check out their discussion of how they created the SAI brain:




For more information about the Stone Age Institute Brain Project, go to or visit the SAI facebook page.


* See “Similar patterns of cortical expansion during human development and evolution,” by Jason Hill, Terrie Inder, Jeffrey Neil, Donna Dierker, John Harwell, and David Van Essen. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 107, July 20, 2010, pp. 13135-13140

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