A new London exhibition explores that fascination, displaying everything from mummified Egyptian cerebral matter to slices of Albert Einstein's brain in the story of our quest to understand what's inside our skulls.
The show at London's Wellcome Collection asks not what brains have done for us but what, in the name of science, we have done to brains.
"Brains have been prepared and weighed and sliced and generally (messed) about with," Ken Arnold, the museum's head of public programs, said on Tuesday.
"This exhibition is, almost contrarily, about the brain, rather than the mind," he said. "An exhibition about what the brain is, rather than what the brain does."
Text and Images: AP
Image: A Trust employee Zoe Middleton poses for a work entitled 'My Soul' by artist Katherine Dawson. The work 'My Soul' is a laser etched in lead crystal glass of the artist's own MRI scan. It is displayed at an exhibition called 'Brains -The Mind as Matter' at the Wellcome Collection in London on Tuesday.