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Scientist Uses Delicious Sushi To Explain How Your Brain Works

Science and sushi art? WHY NOT!

Janelle Letzen is a scientist with a strong passion for Japanese food. She works at Johns Hopkins University and combines medical science with sushi art. The postdoctoral research fellow uses tuna, rice, wasabi and avocado to visually explain complex processes in human brain.

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

Letzen’s mouth-watering hobby began in 2017, when she made a New Year resolution to learn something new. She chose sushi art and fell in love with it, because she found a way to explain neuroscience using brightly colored fish.

Letzen says that her work is a part of a large movement — creating of “scienstagrams”. Teachers and scientists use them to make science understandable for mainstream audience.

“I’m also trying to target more informal learners as well, by making science more tangible,” Letzen wrote.

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

This is the taste buds structure. Taste buds help us appreciate countless flavors of our favorite food. Our tongue has from 2,000 to 8,000 of these. Yummy!

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

That’s how dopamine works. It is a chemical released by brain neurons and it’s responsible for almost any aspect of our behavior — love, motivation, attention, addiction. This image alone can give you a dopamine boost!

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

Brain image blobs sketched with tuna and ginger. Usually you can see similar pictures produced by MRI machines, but they certainly look much more attractive in Aliyah’s visual.  


You would like to eat that concussion, but you would not like to have one. A concussion occurs when the brain is jostled in your skull. To repair the stressed brain cells, you need energy.

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

This aphasia scheme proves that you can explain almost any concept with sushi!  

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

You can even sketch a rat…

Photo: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

…or celebrate a Brain Awareness Week.

Followers often ask Aliyah about sushi’s fate after it’s photographed.

She eats it, of course.

Source: Janelle Letzen

Featured Image: Janelle Letzen/Instagram

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