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How I hope to get inside your head – while exploring the contents of my own.

Fig. 1 Intracranial recording for epilepsy. Robert Ludlow, UCL Institute of Neurology

First the Royal Academy, meeting with Julian Stodd author of ‘Exploring the World of Social Learning’ having made the connection on Linkedin. Read the book, met the author and now we pick over each other’s brains – how we learn is a mutual fascination.

A second viewing of ‘Bronzes’, this time with a drawing pen and pad of cartridge paper – photography not permitted. I wanted to see if my hand was ‘in’ or ‘off’. Most of my time was spent circling the decapitated body of Medusa.

On then to the Wellcome Foundation. In this instance I’d taken one snap on the iPad and was approached and politely advised that photography was not allowed. A guide book for £1 will serve as a suitable aide memoire.

Two days ago I was listening to Aleks Krotoski on ‘The Digital Brain’ on BBC Radio 4 and blogged about the series which by serendipty had me taking an interest in this exhibition, not least because I wanted to take a second look at a screenplay I wrote ‘The Contents of My Mind’ that tells the fictional story of how a digital record of a lifetime of memories are offered to a coma victim. So it was with considerable surprise when I overheard her familiar voice and found she was interviewing the museum’s curator – unedited then I got a good deal of the content for a future show.

Upstairs I watched an operation to remove a cancerous growth recorded in real-time from the surgeon’s point of view, then Project 22 in which a woman photographs everything that she eats as she eats it for one year and one day – age 22. Once again fascinating. A selective record of a year. Can a record of an entire be undertaken with some degree of necessary selection? Or could a software algorithm sort it all out for you if a memory enhancing device records everything that you do and experience.

Other than the £1 guide, unusually, I have not come away with bags of books though I would recommend the Blackwells bookstore at the Wellcome Foundation for bizarre stocking fillers – I Liked the ‘blood bath’ – blood-like bathsalts offered in a surgical drip bag, or highlighter pens as syringes.

I’ll return next week – in at Victoria, back and forth and few stops each way on the Victoria Line – couldn’t be easier. Lunch at the Wellcome Foundation is a find too. A sweet potatoe salad for £3 beats all prices outside the main doors.


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