This illustration by Falconieri Visuals served as a full-page layout in Scientific American earlier this year. It accompanies the article “The Brain, Reimagined” by Douglas Fox and provides an overview of how neurons transmit signs in the body and brain.
Scientists have long endorsed the prevailing theory regarding the transmission of neurons in the body. Yet several physicists have now performed tests on these nerve cells, the results from which point to a different, contemporary theory coined as the Heimburg model.
This visual illustrates the difference between these two theories of nerve signal propagation—the classic theory, which involves ion transport and depolarization, and a newer theory based on various biophysical phenomena in axon membranes.
Veronica Falconieri, the artist behind Falconieri Visuals, enjoyed the collaborative process of working with Scientific American. She embraced the challenge of explaining complex, advanced science for a general audience, and was eager to dive into primary research papers to develop an informed visual strategy for the article.