Madeleine, Lorenzo & Martina

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Madeleine and Lorenzo – We all know that babies cannot speak. That could be quite limiting if you are trying to tell someone that you are in pain. They surely cry and get agitated, but does that really mean they are in pain? What if they were so weak that they could not frown or move about? What if they were the “crying kind”? In our research we look at the brain activity in response to clinically required painful stimulation, such as blood tests and injections, in order to better understand how these fragile individuals perceive pain. This work involves a lot of time spent in the hospital talking to parents, nurses and doctors, but also a lot of time at the desk trying to make sense of the data that we have collected!

Martina – In my illustration I was trying to convey the atmosphere of the day-to-day working environment in Lorenzo and Madeleine’s laboratory. Trying to play with and reinterpret pain stimuli research which involves babies is not easy. Thus we decided to stick to visual metaphors relating to pain, data collection and data processing. I deliberately filled the scene with a multitude of activities and happenings and injected the scenes with humour – to lift the weight off the seemingly perceived seriousness of research and so the viewer can get the sense of a buzzing human environment. Scientist are people too!