Scientists to create computer simulation of human brain

 
single neuron

There can be few competitions with such a rich prize - a massive one billion euros.

That's what a team of European scientists are aiming to win. In return they are promising to create a simulated computer version of the human brain.

The Human Brain Project is one of six research proposals competing for EU funding under its Future and Emerging Technologies initiative.

Universities and organisations from nine countries in Europe are part of the brain research group, among them the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and researchers in Manchester, Plymouth, London and Leicester.

"Our aim is to use supercomputers to establish how the brain is designed and to build a biologically detailed simulation", according to Professor Henry Markram, director of the Human Brain Project.

Start Quote

One in three of us will get some form of brain disease in our lives, so we need to solve that”

End Quote Henry Markram Human Brain Project

"There are thousands of research papers published each year on aspects of neuroscience. We need to integrate all that information so that we can assemble all knowledge of the brain."

The human brain has taken millions of years to evolve so it is a tall order to build a synthetic model in just a decade.

The hope is that the simulated brain would help improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. "One in three of us will get some form of brain disease in our lives, so we need to solve that", said Professor Markram.

US neuroscientists have similar ambitions. At a meeting in Boston earlier this week they announced a 10 year plan aimed at creating a deeper understanding of brain science.

It came on the eve of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's speech in which he promised to put a man on the moon within a decade.

His nephew, former Democratic congressman Patrick Kennedy, helped to launch the initiative, called "One Mind for Research", along with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the actor Martin Sheen. Kennedy described brain research the new "moon shot".

 
Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent Article written by Fergus Walsh Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

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    Comment number 22.

    Ask them first to make a successful Computer simulations of the SNAIL - when they make and can apply it to the management of a robot with the capabilities and behavior of snail -then give them 10 billion to simulate HUMAN BRAIN :)

    Of course, they will not tell you that they CAN NOT MAKE IT - but at least they can follow the advice: "The bigger the lie the more people will believe it" A.Hitler :)

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    Comment number 21.

    And before anyone starts to waffle like: HUMAN BRAIN is very, very complex... it consists of million, billion... Neurons... this would require a Supercomputer! Please, read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_by_number_of_neurons

    For the simulation of much simpler organisms, with far fewer neurons from the human brain - is sufficient Desktop Computer.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    The more you remain silent and not ask questions - more such fraudsters will make fun with you and touch in your pockets. Voiceless people. Not surprisingly, the BBC made ​​the length of comments similar to the inarticulate ANIMAL SCREAM. They just think about you - as brainless ANIMALS :)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    The only method that these junk will surely use is:

    3. To change it, based on RANDOM CHANGES MANUAL AND WITHOUT ANY CLEAR PURPOSE.

    Like you, when sometimes you're sitting with a blank stare into nothingness and scratching the table before you! It's like playing LOTTO. But they need a supercomputer to conceal this fact. Supercomputer lends support of their Deception. As a stick of Harry Potter:)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    Supercomputer can help you if you try to change the model by:

    2. To change it, based on RANDOM CHANGES and IMMEDIATE TEST how these changes affect the model.

    The problem is that you must have CLEAR CRITERIA for COMPARISON upon which to evaluate the similarity about computer models with real object, which simulates. Let someone try to define clear criteria for WORK OF THE HUMAN BRAIN and tell us!

 

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