Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities


Dalis Seungeun Kim
USF Morsani College of Medicine, USA

Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20

Artist statement

This painting depicts fear and the interplay of different regions of the brain (i.e. hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala). The serpent’s tongue is reaching toward the individual in white—haunting memory inducing fear in the hippocampus (brain area essential in memory). Meanwhile, the face on the left is calming—inhibiting the fear and controlling the emotions in the prefrontal cortex (brain area that plays a role in working memory and inhibition of fear among other tasks). The individual in white is sitting on the amygdala, a limbic structure involved in processing emotion (in particular “reflexive” emotions such as fear and anxiety), learning, and memory. It is also implied that other limbic structures in the cortex and brain stem are engaged in this individual. The outward appearance of the skull is reflecting the activity inside the brain.

DALIS SEUNGEUN KIM is a first year medical student at USF Morsani College of Medicine. She was born in South Korea and moved to the United States at age 10. She graduated from USF Honors College and studied ethics and narrative medicine during her undergraduate years as electives. She participated in art exhibitions as an art student, notably in the 9th Annual Bingerae National Art Competition in South Korea in 1998 and won bronze medal in the World Children Peace Painting in United Nation in 1998. She was an exhibiting artist at Metro Youth Art Exhibition in New Mexico from 2002–2004.

Highlighted in Frontispiece Volume 8, Issue 2 – Spring 2016

Winter 2016



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