The visual communication of neuroscience is in crisis.
One hundred and fifty years after the neuron was revealed against the dull ambience of grey matter, we have grown overfamiliar with the brain's image.
The non-scientific public are confronted with sophisticated digital visualisations that fuse biological imagery with statistical data, to create the illusion that the brain is a knowable scientific object.
These compelling fusion images are the instruments of *neurohype*, deployed to advance new forms of governance and commerce.
The dismally low resolution of neuroscience’s imaging devices is concealed. Neuroscientists are not heroically illuminated by optogenetic light and brainbows, they are groping in the dark cave of the skull.
Neuroscience is decades away from mapping the brains of even the simplest creatures on this planet. From our current vantage, plotting the human connectome is a Borgesian fiction.
Conscientious neuroscientists, unskilled in visual communication, knowingly resort to amateurish presentations of their work, using generic stock photography, default software templates, and reductive memes. They are terrified to appear *persuasive*.
Meanwhile, the ascendant neurotech industry gladly assumes the persuasive aesthetics of commodity technology to market brain augmentations — that *will* reinforce inequalities in our society — as innocent accessories to a digital life well-lived.
Neurovague is a call for uncertainty and abstraction in the visualisation of the human connectome. Ambiguous, considered, sincere abstraction.
Neurovague is *not* neuroscience sceptical. Neurovague is image critical.