Cajal VR: unveiling the mystery of the brain

Cajal VR: unveiling the mystery of the brain


When we approach the life and work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal we can see that his way of approaching scientific observations and discoveries has required an unprecedented creative imagination. The reconstruction of histological preparations supported by a strong artistic vocation is a unique characteristic that offers a magnificent opportunity to approach his life and work in creative and innovative ways.

The CSIC has developed an immersive virtual reality experience that documents and immerses the general public in a historical moment in the life of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, making part of his scientific legacy known in an attractive and innovative way, at the same time seeking to reflect the spirit of investigative and artistic work, all in the context of real spaces where he carried out his experiments and taught classes. Cajal VR is designed for 360 – 3D (stereoscopic) Virtual Reality video format. This virtual tour allows you to get closer to the virtual reality experience from your computer and tablet.

This project has been directed and produced by Dr. Juan C. Moreno in co-direction and co-production with the company IRALTA VR. Acknowledgments: Fernando de Castro (Cajal Institute), Juan A. de Carlos (Cajal Institute), Ricardo Martínez Murillo (Cajal Institute), Rosario Moratalla (Cajal Institute), Javier de Felipe (Cajal Institute), Borja Milá (MNCN), Cristina Cánovas (MNCN), Illustrious Official College of Physicians of Madrid (ICOMEM). Project funded by the MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION, budget item 28.06.000X.430.06, for the “DIGITALIZATION OF THE LEGACY OF SANTIAGO RAMÓN Y CAJAL”, CAJAL INSTITUTE (CSIC) AND NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES (CSIC).

You can access the Virtual Tour by clicking here:

Cajal VR at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid

The virtual reality experience “Cajal VR: Unveiling the mystery of the brain” takes place within the exhibition “The historical heritage of Santiago Ramón y Cajal” of the National Museum of Natural Sciences of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (MNCN-CSIC). This museum space is equipped with the equipment, microscopes and photographic cameras used by the prominent scientist and Nobel Prize winner D. Santiago Ramón y Cajal throughout his life.

Cajal VR is an immersive project with an interactive narrative that places the user in the role of a scientist in charge of helping Mr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, following his instructions, answering his questions and collaborating in his research that led to the discovery of the functioning of the brain and earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It has been developed with the latest technologies applied to virtual reality: AI-assisted facial and motion capture, scanning and photogrammetry, 3D modeling and rendering and optimization in real time.

Where the Cajal VR virtual reality experience takes place

1) In National Museum of Naturales Sciences: Exhibition room ‘The Historical Heritage of Santiago Ramón y Cajal’.

3 sessions are held on Saturdays and Sundays, with a limit of 6 people per session.

Session times: 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

Duration of the experience: 15 minutes

Price: 2 euros per person

Recommended for older than 8 years old.

The ticket for ‘Cajal VR: Unveiling the mistery of the brain’ must be purchased at the museum box office. It is also necessary to purchase the museum’s general admission ticket to access the activity.

2) In Cajal Institute (free individual immersive experience): please contact to make a reservation with

Skip to content