Pictured are guests viewing the selected art pieces on display. The piece on the right “Drawing of Dog” by Elle Ameerah Khairudin won first place in the art competition.


On Tuesday 21 May, the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Individualised Cognition (CLIC) launched the Brainiverse artbook, a compilation of 61 artwork submissions from 10 special needs schools in Singapore centred on the theme “Neurodiversity: No Brain is the Same”.

The art competition took place earlier in August 2023 as part of a larger public science festival hosted by CLIC called “The Brainiverse Experience”. The festival attracted 1500 visitors with immersive activities related to learning, the brain, and mental well-being, with an added focus on CLIC’s research.

The purpose of the art competition was to provide children with special needs an opportunity to express how their perspectives are shaped by the unique ways their brains work. Students were asked to choose one prompt from below to create their art:

– Everyone’s brain is special. What makes your brain special?
– How do you see the world through your mind?
– When I am sleeping, my brain is dreaming

From left clockwise: First place winner “Drawing of Dog” by Elle Ameerah Khairudin, second place winner “Mind Space” by Muhammad Ridhwan Bin Masli, third place winner “The Circle of Dawn” by Nurfera Afrini Ithnin.


The Brainiverse artbook launch commemorates the creative talent of the student artists and places these achievements in the context of CLIC’s scientific understanding of the neuroscience of learning.

Go to CLIC’s research page to the “Public Outreach” section to access the digital copies of the artbook in English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil.

The launch on Tuesday 21 May was graced by GOH Mrs Rosa Daniels, Dean of Culture Academy at the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth; and Prof Shirley Ho, Associate Vice President for Humanities, Social Sciences & Research Communication at Nanyang Technological University, to deliver the opening addresses. There were also short recordings from the winning student artists explaining the inspiration behind their art.

Listen to this recording of Prof Trevor Robbins explaining “The Science of Creativity and Cognition in Art”.


Top-left: (from left to right) Prof Annabel Chen, Mrs Rosa Daniel, Prof Shirley Ho, Prof Henriëtte Hendriks, and Dr Chew Lee Teo. Top-right: GOH Prof Shirley Ho and Mrs Rosa Daniel (second and third from the left respectively) and Dr David Quach from the National Research Foundation (second from the right) were given a tour of the Lifespan Research Centre, NTU, Novena. Bottom-left: Second place winner Muhammad Ridhwan Bin Masli with his artwork “Mind Space”. Bottom-right: Guests at the event.


Guests could browse the select pieces of artwork at the viewing area and try their hand at several hands-on activities used by neuroscientists to measure creativity such as drawing, spatial reasoning, and creative thinking. GOH Mrs Rosa Daniels and Prof Shirley Ho, and Dr David Quach from the National Research Foundation were given a tour of the Lifespan Research Centre which hosts the BabyLiNC Lab. The tour gave guests an overview of the various creativity tasks employed in the infant participant group and how it relates to and measures cognitive flexibility.

As CLIC moves toward its next phase, training programmes targeting flexible learning will be developed for different age groups. The aim for the future is to incorporate these programmes in different learning environments.

Lastly, we must acknowledge that the stars of this event are the student artists who have brilliantly expressed their originality to engage the audience both with logical concepts and emotional responses.


CLIC is a programme supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme.

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