Monkey vs Lizard

Monkey vs Lizard Game screen shot.This is a screen shot from a commission I completed recently for the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR). It was part of a project that aimed to help people understand the impact of conflict on brain development. The SCCR team put together a fantastic event as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival at which Medical Advisor, Dr Sara Watkin, talked about the physical and emotional impact of conflict and how it relates to the brain. My illustrations were used for an online game where users could answer questions to find out if their responses to conflict were more mammalian or more reptilian, hence the Monkey Vs Lizard title. It’s a bit of fun with a serious point behind it, aiming to educate people about their responses to everyday scenarios.

The idea came from current thinking about brain biology. Scientists think that the central part of our brain evolved first and so they call it the Reptilian Brain. It’s where our Flight/Fight reaction and a lot of our emotions come from. The rest of our brain is called the Mammalian Brain and evolved later. The Mammalian brain is the rational part of our brain and we need to engage it to modify our Reptilian reactions. By answering the questions in the game you can find out whether your responses are more lizard or monkey and I came up with various funny monkey/lizard hybrids to illustration the possible outcomes from the quiz. I don’t think I’ve explained it very well so you’d better go and take to quiz to find out what one earth I’m talking about! Anyway, it was a lot of fun to do and I loved working with the SCCR team and the fabulous guys at the Primate Web Agency again.

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