academics & research

Brain sculpture on campus largest in world



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A 7-foot limestone sculpture of the Human Brain stands outside of the Psychology building. This 10,000 lb sculpture is the largest anatomically accurate brain sculpture in the world. David Crosman Buy Photos

The largest anatomically correct sculpture of the human brain now stands on the corner of 10th and North Walnut Grove streets.

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences unveiled the brain sculpture as part of the department’s 125th anniversary celebration.

Sculptor Amy Brier designed the brain in conjunction with Mike Donham, from Accent Limestone, and his team, who carved the sculpture.

It was formed entirely from local Indiana limestone from the Reed Quarry in Bloomington.

The Department of Psychological and Brain Science celebrated its anniversary along with the fact that it is the oldest university psychology department in the United States.

“This department is a shining example of what can be done with a faculty who are interdisciplinary,” said IU Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel.

Robel spoke at the dedication of the sculpture.

“There are a lot of big brains on this campus, but this one really takes the cake,” she said.

The Harlan family of Harlan Laboratories in Indianapolis underwrote the sculpture, Department Chair Bill Hetrick said.

Harlan Laboratories has had a long-standing relationship with the psychology department, Hetrick said.

“Our relationship is an example of the successful merger between industry and academia,” he said.

Hetrick said the Harlan family also pledged half a million dollars to the department, which will further studies of the brain.

The department expressed its gratitude and desire that the brain be made a monument to its long-standing history of scientific study.

“This department is dedicated to the systematic discovery of the human brain,” Robel said. “But there is more to being human than just synapses firing inside the brain.

“It is fitting that we should also pay tribute to the spirit of exploration, which is an  essential part of what it means to be human.”

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