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Neuroanatomy Chess Set

Neuroanatomy Chess Set

hand-carved crystalline alabaster and bronze
pieces made to fit 2.5 inch board squares

Editions available in cast bronze. Please send inquires through the contact page.

whiteside.jpg
King / Pituitary Gland

King / Pituitary Gland

     The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland located at the base of the skull between the optic nerves. It is referred to as the “master gland” as it secretes hormones which regulate body temperature, thyroid activity, growth during childhood, urine production, testoserone and estrogen production. It is a huge factor in the proper functioning of the reproductive system. Studies have shown that defects in the pituitary gland can cause sterilization. The symbolic significance of the pituitary gland as King is based on the fact that elimination of the gland would not only cause fatal disruptions in regulation of critical bodily functions, but would end the royal bloodline as the King could no longer reproduce. Both the King and Queen were carved from the same piece of translucent alabaster.

Queen / Amygdala

Queen / Amygdala

       The amygdala are almond-shaped groups of neurons located within the temporal lobes. They are an integral part of the limbic system, an aspect of the old mammalian brain involved in memory, emotion and fear. Damage to the amygdala leads to loss of sensitivity to stimuli associated with strong emotions, lack of defensive behaviors, inability to grasp complex social structures, and loss of long-term declarative memory for emotionally arousing material. Because emotional experiences are the most memorable, damaged amygdala may lead to a disconnect between one and one’s past, sense of self or purpose. The symbolic significance of the amygdala as Queen is based on the thought that in a war between kingdoms, the inability to function emotionally or connect with the purpose of battle would be an immense disadvantage, though not complete defeat. 

Bishop / Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Bishop / Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

     Temporal lobe epilepsy can occur in either or both temporal lobes which are located on either side of the head just above the ears. This form of epilepsy may be the result of a head injury or infection that affects the brain, such as meningitis, other causes are unknown. Features of temporal lobe epileptic fits include intense sensations of fear, intellectual fascination or pleasure, and in many cases are described as being religious experiences. Some neuropsychologists believe important religious figures throughout history in their “moments of ecstacy” were actually experiencing temporal lobe epileptic fits. There are several cases of modern temporal lobe epileptics who a sense of intense religious purpose or personal connection with a higher power.

Knight / Cerebellum

Knight / Cerebellum

     The cerebellum is located just above the brain stem toward the back of the brain and is often referred to as the “little brain”. It is assumed to be much older on the evolutionary scale compared to the cerebrum as it is involved mainly with motor movement, balance and equilibrium, and muscle tone. Damage of the cerebellum can lead to loss of coordination of motor movement, inability to judge distances, inability to perform rapid alternating movements, tremmors, staggering, tendency to fall, weak muscles, slurred speech and abnormal eye movements. Knights need to employ all of these traits to function well and protect the kingdom.

     

Rook / Corpus Callosum

Rook / Corpus Callosum

     The corpus callosum is a bundle of axons which connects the two hemispheres of the brain. It is composed of about 200 million nerve fibers and is therefore the largest connective pathway in the brain. Destruction of the corpus callosum leads to difficulty in coordinating movement or processing complex information. The rook is often a tower or other significant structure of a castle, just as the corpus callosum is an extremely important structure in the brain.

scattered.jpg

Neuroanatomy Chess Set

hand-carved crystalline alabaster and bronze
pieces made to fit 2.5 inch board squares

Editions available in cast bronze. Please send inquires through the contact page.

King / Pituitary Gland

     The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland located at the base of the skull between the optic nerves. It is referred to as the “master gland” as it secretes hormones which regulate body temperature, thyroid activity, growth during childhood, urine production, testoserone and estrogen production. It is a huge factor in the proper functioning of the reproductive system. Studies have shown that defects in the pituitary gland can cause sterilization. The symbolic significance of the pituitary gland as King is based on the fact that elimination of the gland would not only cause fatal disruptions in regulation of critical bodily functions, but would end the royal bloodline as the King could no longer reproduce. Both the King and Queen were carved from the same piece of translucent alabaster.

Queen / Amygdala

       The amygdala are almond-shaped groups of neurons located within the temporal lobes. They are an integral part of the limbic system, an aspect of the old mammalian brain involved in memory, emotion and fear. Damage to the amygdala leads to loss of sensitivity to stimuli associated with strong emotions, lack of defensive behaviors, inability to grasp complex social structures, and loss of long-term declarative memory for emotionally arousing material. Because emotional experiences are the most memorable, damaged amygdala may lead to a disconnect between one and one’s past, sense of self or purpose. The symbolic significance of the amygdala as Queen is based on the thought that in a war between kingdoms, the inability to function emotionally or connect with the purpose of battle would be an immense disadvantage, though not complete defeat. 

Bishop / Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

     Temporal lobe epilepsy can occur in either or both temporal lobes which are located on either side of the head just above the ears. This form of epilepsy may be the result of a head injury or infection that affects the brain, such as meningitis, other causes are unknown. Features of temporal lobe epileptic fits include intense sensations of fear, intellectual fascination or pleasure, and in many cases are described as being religious experiences. Some neuropsychologists believe important religious figures throughout history in their “moments of ecstacy” were actually experiencing temporal lobe epileptic fits. There are several cases of modern temporal lobe epileptics who a sense of intense religious purpose or personal connection with a higher power.

Knight / Cerebellum

     The cerebellum is located just above the brain stem toward the back of the brain and is often referred to as the “little brain”. It is assumed to be much older on the evolutionary scale compared to the cerebrum as it is involved mainly with motor movement, balance and equilibrium, and muscle tone. Damage of the cerebellum can lead to loss of coordination of motor movement, inability to judge distances, inability to perform rapid alternating movements, tremmors, staggering, tendency to fall, weak muscles, slurred speech and abnormal eye movements. Knights need to employ all of these traits to function well and protect the kingdom.

     

Rook / Corpus Callosum

     The corpus callosum is a bundle of axons which connects the two hemispheres of the brain. It is composed of about 200 million nerve fibers and is therefore the largest connective pathway in the brain. Destruction of the corpus callosum leads to difficulty in coordinating movement or processing complex information. The rook is often a tower or other significant structure of a castle, just as the corpus callosum is an extremely important structure in the brain.

Neuroanatomy Chess Set
whiteside.jpg
King / Pituitary Gland
Queen / Amygdala
Bishop / Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Knight / Cerebellum
Rook / Corpus Callosum
scattered.jpg