Scientists to Build a Virtual Brain Henry Markram
A team of Swiss researchers believe they can build a virtual human brain using advances made by neuroscience over the last decade, from modelling the structures of ion channels to the mechanisms of conscious decision-making. "First the scientists must decide on the volume of brain tissue to construct, and, second, they must distribute mathematical models of neurons throughout this volume in a manner consistent with experimental data from real human brains." The project is currently awaiting $1.3 billion from a European science fund.
The plan is controversial, some scientists do not think the plan will work. Others believe that dealing with a virtual brain will prove just as complex and mysterious as working with a real one. Still, the Swiss team envisions a computer that will learn and gradually develop more complex cognitive abilities just like a human brain. If the project gets the go-ahead, researchers have promised to publish the code used to program the brain, meaning limitless experiments could be run on the software, testing virtual drugs against the debilitating diseases that affect the mind.
Article Live Science: http://goo.gl/5F1ua
Below from a TEDTalk from 2009 Henry Markram speaks to the basics of the plans for a supercomputer that models all the brain's 100,000,000,000,000 synapses. (16:49)
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