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Cooking ingredients of brain conductivity 
Cells and Tissues
Digital image 
Inspiration and composition


The conductivity of brain tissue is characterized by the mixture of two ingredients: water and salt. Two basic ingredients that our lives depend on. Stefano is inspired by the way the body regulates these ingredients perfectly. His digital artwork emphasizes the importance of the balance between water and salt for our well-being. 

In his work, ‘Cooking ingredients of brain conductivity’, Stefano’s two passions meet: food and science. In the kitchen he enjoys cooking Italian food. He compares a healthy balanced body to a perfect dish. In a perfect dish all the ingredients are present in a delicate equilibrium just like a perfect body maintains an intricate balance between all its tissue components. In Stefano’s self-portrait, two arms pour water and salt in his head to prepare the dish that inspires his artwork: Italian pasta. 

“Like an altered concentration of ingredients would lead to an unbalanced taste in a dish, an 

excessive presence of salt in tissues would indicate the presence of pathologies, e.g. 

tumors. In my artwork it’s carefully depicted by a red spot where the grains of salt meet the 

brain, indicating high conductivity as observed in tumors.” 


During oncological treatment it is possible to measure alterations in the salt concentration in the brain. Mapping these alterations provides information about the status of the cancer. This can be used to monitor the treatment. The hope and expectation during treatment is that the tumors become smaller. The light in the background of the artwork eludes to the horizon and brighter future that he hopes lie ahead - curing cancer. 

The artist

About Stefano Mandija 

With his research Stefano aims to establish brain conductivity measurements in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as a biomarker for cancer. In this digital self-portrait - a cross-section of his own head - he reveals a brain electrical conductivity map, measured with MRI.

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