I choose Sci Art optional
unit as I was trying to discover and explore different fields besides fashion. Furthermore,
the idea to challenge myself  with a
topic I’ve never been interested was motivating.

My first approach to my project was the first class when David showed us that Scientific practice today is extraordinarily diverse (Turney,
2003:12). He showed us an
image about DNA
speed dating SA1 and how love nowadays can be matching by compatibility
of DNAs.
As soon as I saw the picture I thought about a personal project I have been
developing since 2014, ‘Love sucks’ a research about love, pain and broken
hearts.

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I was aware that love
works in relation with hormones and chemicals, but, until that moment, I had
limited knowledge about psychology and neuroscience concepts such as neurotransmitters
and their functionality.

 

In 2010 Annie Cattrell in collaboration
with Morton Kringelbach a neuroscientist created Pleasure and Pain, a resin
sculpture that shows the oscillations obtained from magnetic resonances of the
brain with the purpose to understand human consciousness and unconscious
processing from a specifically neuroscientific viewpoint (Miller, 2014:195)SA2 

 

I started by studying
how is the relationship between love and the neuronal system. I found that when
we are in love, ‘chemicals associated with the reward circuit flood our brain,
produce a variety of physical and emotional response’ (Edwards: online). From
this research, I learned about the brain reward system, that refers to a group
of structures that are activated by rewarding or reinforcing stimuli like objects,
events, activities or situations. These stimuli have the potential to make us
approach and consume it is by definition a reward that commonly can generate addictions.
SA3 Reward involves multiple
neuropsychological components together: first, the hedonic affects of pleasure
itself (‘liking’); second, motivation to obtain the reward (‘wanting’ or
incentive salience); and third, reward related learning. (Kringelbach and
Berridge, 2009).  The circuit most
associated with pleasure and reward is the mesolimbic pathway, this area
of the brain is primarily concerned with basic survival. The chemical compound
or neurotransmitter most commonly linked with it, is dopamine. The release of
dopamine motivates us to repeat behaviours or activities that prompted this
release. From sensory pleasures and drugs of abuse to monetary, aesthetic and
musical delights, all pleasures seem to involve the same brain systems, even
when linked to anticipation and memory (Kringelbach and Berridge, 2013).

 

From the
results of my theoretical findings, I tried to find links between my project
and previous experience with the rewarding system in order to create something
new.  Turney, in his book Science, Not
Art: Ten Scientists’ Diaries says that a strong personality its required when
someone tries to discover something new “Fortunately, it is also clear that
what renews motivation is that the experience of making a discovery – even a
small one- is as good as it is cracked up to be. For all the frustrations and
pressures, the quest is clearly addictive. There is pleasure when experiments
go well, satisfaction is given a good talk, even occasional jubilation when a
grant application is approved. But nothing compares with that moment when you
know you have glimpsed something hitherto unseen by anyone (Turney, 2003:14).
This quote reaffirm my idea to develop my project in the fashion field as it is
something that motivates me and link it with the reward system having in mind
that my learning process and experimentations will be in one way or other
linked to science as I’ll be applying the reward theory into practice in myself. As well,
made me realized how science is rewarded. Researchers are likely to be funded
by a mix of grants from various government agencies,
institutions, and foundations. Other researches are funded by private companies
doing research and development, as pharmaceutical companies, and non-profit
foundations. And some researchers today still fund small-scale studies out of
their own pockets.SA4 

Peter Dayan, Ray Dolan and Wolfram Schultz, the winners
of the last edition of The Brain Prize, a 1 million € contest awarded to
scientists who contribute to neuroscience and who are still active in
research, have proven that the release of dopamine is not a response to the
actual reward but to the difference between the reward we expect and the reward
we actually receivedSA5 

 

Having in mind the
importance of dopamine in the neuronal process in which our brain works when we
look for pleasure and create actions to have a reward. I am creating 4 prints
inspired in the neuro cells and the dopamine pathways ad component in our brain
with the purpose to generate fundings from the laboratory research in the
neuroscience field, trying to prove that scientist can not only generate income
from grant-writings..

 

As an example, Mark Lythgoe in his dairy wrote
“Thursday 4 July: David ask me to see where we are up to with all the grants we
need to get more money into the department. If I’m grant-writing then I am not
doing experiments. It’s very difficult to find time to do both well. I love the
lab work, playing around on the bench, trying to make something work where
others have failed. Those skills do not translate easily to grant-writing.”
(Turney, 2013:56)SA6 

 

Furthermore, as a
piece to include and prove my research and theory about the reward system, I am
presenting a collaborative photo editorial of myself in the laboratory as I
consider Art Direction as a personal motivation. Expecting from it have
experience and learning about phot shoots for my future projects related to
Practice 1.

 

 

having in
consideration the physical outcomes of my project, my main aim are: first,  to show the way in which fashion can be
related with science, as it can generate profit to further researches. Second, persuade
the investigation of happiness and pleasure in the science field. As science had
being lately focused in development and technology, leaving behind the
importance of biological functions. Studying the reward system is very central
to understand the human nature; we have to be able to understand how the shifts
in our brain happen in order to manage the rebalance of our brain not just when
it comes to motivation or learning, but actually to get the good life. As
Aristoteles in The Nicomachean Ethics

wrote: “Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and
self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed.”

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