How Can a Model of the Brain Be Made From Noodles?

One method of creating a model of the brain with noodles uses a modeling clay, such as Play-Doh or Model Magic, and either radiatore pasta, elbow macaroni or spaghetti. Cook and strain the radiatore pasta, elbow macaroni or spaghetti according to directions, dunk it in cold water and wait for it to dry.

Then take a grapefruit-sized piece of modeling clay and shape it into a dome. Stick pieces of pasta into it at different angles to simulate the pattern of the brain. Finally, stick the pasta-covered clay on newspaper and use art paint either to cover the pasta in pink and white colors similar to those of the brain, or to use several colors to designate different areas of the brain.

Pasta is a fitting material for creating brain models as the outer layer of the brain (the cortex) contains soft, firm wrinkles and folds which pasta can imitate. These folds are technically divided into higher ridges (known as gyri) and lower valleys (known as sulci). Mammals with larger brains have a folded cortex, with the human cortex having the most wrinkles. The pattern these wrinkles take depend on genetics and the growth rate and thickness of the gray matter.