Blue Brain Project

blue brain

The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level. The aim of the project, founded in 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to study the brain’s architectural and functional principles, and is headed by the Institute’s director, Henry Markram. Using an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines’s NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons.

It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness. A longer term goal is to build a detailed, functional simulation of the physiological processes in the human brain: ‘It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years,” Markram said at the 2009 TED conference in Oxford. In a BBC World Service interview he said: ‘If we build it correctly it should speak and have an intelligence and behave very much as a human does.’

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