The Holy Grail of neuroscience is a complete map of all of the synaptic connections in your brain — which could allow us to describe the very flow of information in the brain.
And now, researchers working at the Blue Brain Project have successfully reconstructed a virtual microcircuit that is making it possible to predict the locations of synapses in the neocortex. This breakthrough could dramatically accelerate the brain-mapping project — while adding further credence to the suggestion that a simulated brain may someday be possible.
The Blue Brain Project was founded in 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Their goal is to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level. To do so, they’re using a Blue Gene supercomputer that runs NEURON software — a configuration that has resulted in a biologically realistic model of neurons.
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