Brains! London exhibition looks inside our skulls

By the Associated Press | March 27, 2012 | 9:36 AM EDT

Wellcome Trust employee Zoe Middleton poses for the media by a work entitled 'My Soul' by artist Katherine Dawson, that is a laser etched in lead crystal glass of the artist's own MRI scan, at an exhibition call 'Brains -The Mind as Matter' at the Wellcome Collection in London, Tuesday, March, 27, 2012. The free exhibition is open to the public from March 29- June 17. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON (AP) — A new exhibition in London is putting the brain under a microscope — literally.

"Brains: The Mind as Matter" asks not what brains have done for us but what, in the name of science, we have done to brains.

The brain has fascinated and baffled scientists for centuries. The exhibition, which opens Thursday at the Wellcome Collection, features mummified, desiccated, galvanized and pickled brains as it charts humanity's sometimes misguided attempts at scientific understanding.

Exhibits range from slices of Albert Einstein's brain to neurosurgery tools and artworks inspired by the contents of our skulls.

Curator Marius Kwint said Tuesday that it aims to show how, despite scientific advances, the brain remains "a complex and inscrutable substance."