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Duke Research - A Mind-Expanding Experience

Amy Caron

September 3, 2010

A Mind-Expanding Experience

How's this for mind-expanding? Duke's neuroscience community is hosting an artist-in-residence this term.

Amy Caron from Salt Lake City will be here from Oct. 7 through Nov. 3, offering eight public performances of her installation "Waves of Mu," which explores brain anatomy and the somewhat controversial notion of "mirror neurons." She'll also be guest-lecturing around campus in both arts and sciences.

Caron's installation also will be augmented by some local talent: Duke music grad student Paul Leary  is composing an original score, and psychology and neuroscience grad student David Paulsen is creating some visual art to add to the two-room installation.

In the first room, an audience of fifty people explores an art installation representing a vividly colored model of the brain, complete with velvet floor coverings, chandeliers, paintings, photography and sculpture. In the second room, they find Caron, in the role of an eccentric scientist, interacting with them and challenging their thoughts, presumably triggering some of their “mirror neurons.”

Sounds kinda fun, doesn't it?

"Waves of Mu" will be in the Schiciano Auditorium and The Studio in the Fitzpatrick CIEMAS building. It's free, but you'll need a ticket to be one of the lucky 50 people who can participate in an audience. Ticket Info - Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.


Posted by klb25. 6 comments

Tags: behavior/psychology, neuroscience, science communication & education, Visualization

Amy Caron

We were so incredibly lucky to witness Amy Caron's "Waves of Mu" performance here in Salt Lake City several years ago.
You can't imagine a more educational, interactive and just plain 'fun' art installation. I almost don't want to use the word 'educational' because it detracts from the playfulness of her presentation. But the scientific research behind this work is fascinating and not dry at all. As it says above, the ticket-holders who get to participate will consider themselves lucky indeed.

It's the kind of thing where you don't feel quite the same afterward.

This is your brain on art. Any questions?


Hello all, I was very lucky while walking in NYC last fall, I was acosted by a hilarious red haired woman on the street in the East Village advising me of a show called the Waves of Mu that I should check out at PS 122. (An very well known avant garde performance art space). I was taken by her energy and her sheer bravado in promoting her own show and brought my friends that evening. What an amazing experience we had, from the beginning through to the end (not giving away the experience sorry!) it was unique, exquisite, thought provoking and poignant! Amy Caron has a rare ability to be both brilliant and accessible as well as damn run to buy tickets!! Bring your friends you won't be dissappointed!! If I could be there I would be as well! lucky folks!!!

re: Don't miss this show...!!

I was lucky enough to catch this show in NYC at the prestigious avant-garde theatre PS122 in the east village last year and was completely engaged by both the stunning installation that was tactile and provocative and the following 2nd stage interactive performance of Amy Caron and her team...wildly original in brought home how dependent we really are on each other...and how we must fight to value the mirror neuron connection we all so desperately need! It was just a real gift of a show! Lucky Duke-ites wish I could be there! Amy Caron, is a star on the rise...a big brain with a beating heart!!

Annie B


I caught this Waves of Mu at PS 122 in New York in 2008 and it is an experience not to be missed. It's incredibly hard to explain how it all works - but that's exactly why you should go and see it for yourself. I am a neurology student at Columbia and I was amazed her ability to get such difficult concepts across with such humor and grace. This is NOT a boring science lecture, it's science (neuroscience) in an entirely new framework that does the research justice and pushes performance art into a different realm than I have ever seen before. Don't miss it and get a seat early - the audience allowance is small as I remember.

Must See

This is a must see once in a life time opportunity. My organization, Burlington City Arts hosted Amy Caron's Waves of Mu-the impact on our community was wide and spectacular. Get out there and learn about your brain in a way that you will never forget.

Waves of Mu

Saw this in Salt Lake City. It was mind-blowing, to say the least, and quite beautiful to look at. A must see.


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