Friday, July 29, 2005

Blue Brain Project: modeling the neocortex

Back to the topic of artificial intelligence - this is a new tweak to the saga.

IBM and The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are collaborating on a major joint research initiative, called Blue Brain Project, to use the huge computational capacity of IBM’s eServer Blue Gene supercomputer to create a detailed model of the circuitry in the neocortex – the largest and most complex part of the human brain.

By expanding the project to model other areas of the brain, scientists hope to eventually build an accurate, computer-based model of the entire brain, the press statement says.

And the project's relationship to future medical discovery: "Relatively little is actually known about how the brain works. Using the digital model scientists will run computer-based simulations of the brain at the molecular level, shedding light on internal processes such as thought, perception, and memory. Scientists also hope to understand more about how and why certain microcircuits in the brain malfunction – thought to be the cause of psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression."

Stay tuned!

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