Scientists threaten to boycott €1.2bn Human Brain Project

Researchers say European commission-funded initiative to simulate human brain suffers from 'substantial failures'.

Human brain


Many researchers refused to join on the grounds that it was too premature to attempt a simulation of the entire human brain. Photograph: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Alamy

The world's largest project to unravel the mysteries of the human brain has been thrown into crisis with more than 100 leading researchers threatening to boycott the effort amid accusations of mismanagement and fears that it is doomed to failure.

The European commission launched the €1.2bn (£950m) Human Brain Project (HBP) last year with the ambitious goal of turning the latest knowledge in neuro-science into a supercomputer simulation of the human brain. More than 80 European and international research institutions signed up to the 10-year project.

But it proved controversial from the start. Many researchers refused to join on the grounds that it was far too premature to attempt a simulation of the entire human brain in a computer. Now some claim the project is taking the wrong approach, wastes money and risks a backlash against neuroscience if it fails to deliver.

In an open letter to the European commission on Monday, more than 130 leaders of scientific groups around the world,including researchers at Oxford, Cambridge, Edin-burgh and UCL, warn they will boycott the project and urge others to join them unless major changes are made to the initiative.

The researchers urge EC officials who are now reviewing the plans to take a hard look at the science and management before deciding on whether to renew its fun-ding. They believe the review, which is due to conclude at the end of the summer, will find "substantial failures" in the project's governance, flexibility and openness.

Central to the latest controversy are recent changes made by Henry Markram,head of the Human Brain Project at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology in Lausanne. The changes sidelined cognitive scientists who study high-level brain functions, such as thought and behaviour. Without them,the brain simulation will be built from the bot. tom up,drawing on more fundamental science, such as studies of individual neurons. The brain, the most complex object known, has some 86bn neurons and 100tn connections.

"The main apparent goal of building the capacity to construct a larger-scale simulation of the human brain is radically premature," Peter Dayan, director of the computational neuroscience unit at UCL, told the Guardian.

"We are left with a project that can't but fail from a scientific perspective. It is a waste of money, it will suck out funds from valuable neuroscience research, and would leave the public, who fund this work, justifiably upset," he said.

Europe's decision to approve the HBP spurred US scientists to propose a major pro-ject of their own. The US Brain Initiative aims to map the activity of the human brain and could win $3bn (£1.75bn) in funding over 10 years.

Alexandre Pouget, a signatory of the letter at Geneva University, said that while si-mulations were valuable, they would not be enough to explain how the brain works. "There is a danger that Europe thinks it is investing in a big neuroscience project here, but it's not. It's an IT project," he said. "They need to widen the scope and take advantage of the expertise we have in neuroscience. It's not too late. We can fix it. It's up to Europe to make the right decision."

But Markram staunchly defends the project, arguing that it was always about develo-ping technology rather than basic neuroscience.He said its goal was not to churn out more of the data that neuroscientists already produce, but to develop new tools to make sense of the vast data sets coming out of brain sciences.

"The rationale of the Human Brain Project is a plan for data: what do we do with all this data? This is a very exciting ICT project that will bring completely new tools and capabilities to all of neuroscience," he said. "It is not a general neuroscience funding source for more of the same research."

Richard Frackowiak, director of clinical neuroscience at the University Hospital of Lausanne, and co-leader of a strand of the Human Brain Project focusing on "future medicine",said that many of the complaints were "irrational sniping" from scientists who were ill-informed, or wanted the funds to pursue their own research agendas. He said that simulations of the brain represented a long-needed "paradigm shift" in neuroscience.

Sir Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at the University of London, who is not one of the signatories to the letter, said: "It's important that the review should be thorough and, if necessary, critical. But it would be unfortunate if this high-profile project were to be abandoned. There's enough flexibility in the plans to allow the project to be refocused and re-energised.

"The most important thing is that the goals should be realistic. If they promise the politicians cures for dementia or miraculous breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, but don't really deliver them, it might have a negative impact on the whole funding of neuroscience in the future – and that would be a disaster.".

Opeen message to the European Commission concerning the Human Brain Project


Summary: Neuroscience advances our understanding of normal and pathological brain function, offering potentially enormous benefits to society. It is, therefore, critical to Europe. The Human Brain Project (HBP),sponsored by the European Commission (EC),was meant to forward this mission.However,due in great part to its narrow focus, it has been highly controversial and divisive within the European neuroscience com-munity and even within the consortium, resulting in on-going losses of members. The HBP is now scheduled for review and we wish to draw the attention of the EC to these problems. We believe the HBP is not a well conceived or implemented project and that it is ill suited to be the centerpiece of European neuroscience. We are parti-cularly concerned about the plan to tie a substantial portion European member states’ neuroscience funding to the HBP through so-called ‘part-nering projects’. We call for the EC to go beyond the strict requirements of the upcoming review, to de-mand transparency and accountability and, if necessary, change the structure of the HBP’s governance and supervision to correct their shortcomings. Failing that we call for the EC to redirect the HBP funding to smaller investigator-driven neuroscience grants. We stand fully behind a strong and united European neuroscience strategy and we pledge not to seek funding through HBP partnering projects that would compromise that mission.

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Open message to the European Commissionconcerning the Human Brain Project

Sign the letter

Open message to the European Commission concerning the Human Brain Project

July 7, 2014

We the undersigned members of the European neuroscience community are writing to express our concern with the course of the Human Brain Project (HBP).The HBP, and its cousin the U.S.BRAIN Initiative, have the noble goal of making major advan- ces in our understanding of both normal and pathological brain function. Given the potentially enormous benefits to society that would be gained from achieving this goal, it deserves a significant collective investment of our societies’ resources.

However, the HBP has been controversial and divisive within the European neuro-science community from the beginning.Many laboratories refused to join the project when it was first submitted because of its focus on an overly narrow approach, leading to a significant risk that it would fail to meet its goals. Further attrition of members during the ramp-up phase added to this narrowing. 

In June, a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) for the second round of funding for the HBP was submitted. This, unfortunately, reflected an even further narrowing of goals and funding allocation, including the removal of an entire neuroscience sub-project and the consequent deletion of 18 additional laboratories, as well as further withdrawals and the resignation of one member of the internal scientific advisory board.

A formal review of the HBP is now scheduled to evaluate the success of the project’s ramp-up phase and the plan for the next phase. At stake is funding on the order of 50 M€ per year European Commission for the “core project” and 50M€ in “partnering projects” provided largely by the European member states’ funding bodies.

In this context, we wish to express the view that the HBP is not on course and that the European Commission must take a very careful look at both the science and the ma-nagement of the HBP before it is renewed. We strongly question whether the goals and implementation of the HBP are adequate to form the nucleus of the collaborative effort in Europe that will further our understanding of the brain.

It is stated that the review must address the excellence,impact as well as the quality and efficiency of implementation. We believe that a review will show that there are substantial failures to meet these criteria, especially concerning the quality of the governance demonstrated and the lack of flexibility and openness of the consortium. 

In order to carry out the upcoming review in the most transparent and accountable manner possible, we hold that it should meet the following criteria:

  • The panel should be composed of highly regarded members of the scientific community whose views reflect the diversity of approaches within neuroscience.
  • The review process should be transparent:review panel members identities should be disclosed and the goals, procedures and output of the review process should be public.
  • The panel should be independent: the members of the panel should not be involved in the development of, advocacy for, or governance of the HBP; they should provide a signed disclosure of any significant funding or scientific relationships to the HBP.
  • The EC must by regulation evaluate if the HBP is meeting the core criteria of the FET Flagship Project, including scientific excellence, impact and quality of imple-mentation. We call attention to concerns raised by the sparse community support and systematic loss of HBP partners that appear highly relevant to the FET criteria of:
    • Extent to which the consortium enables fostering complementarities, exploiting synergies, and enhancing the overall outcome of regional, national, European and international research programmes.
    • Quality of the proposed governance and management structure.
    • Openness and flexibility of the consortium.
  • Based on this review, the panel should make binding recommendations concer-ning the continuation of the HBP as a whole as well as continuation of individual subprojects, including the allocation of resources across subprojects and the possible creation of new subprojects.
  • The panel should be tasked and empowered to create a transparent process for the formulation of the calls for partnering projects and the review of applications for those calls, such that these reflect community input, are coordinated with the core but are independent of the core administration.
  • One or more members of the panel should continue to serve as the core of an ex-ternal steering committee for the period of the funding under review. These conti-nuing members would need to be fully independent of the project (i.e. receiving no funding).

In the case that the review is not able to secure these objectives, we call for the Euro- pean Commission and Member States to reallocate the funding currently allocated to the HBP core and partnering projects to broad neuroscience-directed funding to meet the original goals of the HBP - understanding brain function and its effect on society. We strongly support the mechanism of individual investigator-driven grants as a means to provide a much needed investment in European neuro-science research. The European Research Council would provide a well-proven mechanism for allocating such funds.

In the event that the European Commission is unable to adopt these recommen-dations, we, the undersigned, pledge not to apply for HBP partnering projects and will urge our colleagues to join us in this commitment.

  1. Moshe Abeles. Bar-Ilan University. Israel.
  2. Ad Aertsen. University of Freiburg. Germany.
  3. Silvia Arber. FMI. Switzerland.
  4. Philippe Ascher. University of Paris. France.
  5. Francesco Battaglia. Radboud Universiteit. Netherlands.
  6. Daphne Bavelier, University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  7. Heinz Beck. University of Bonn. Germany.
  8. James Bednar. University of Edinburgh. UK.
  9. Tim Behrens. Oxford University. UK.
  10. Suliann Ben Hamed. ISC Lyon. France.
  11. Benedikt Berninger. University Medical Center Mainz. Germany.
  12. Hugues Berry. INRIA. France.
  13. Matthias Bethge. University of Tuebingen. Germany.
  14. Timothy Bliss. MRC. UK.
  15. Vincent Bonin. NERF. Belgium.
  16. Jan Born. University of Tübingen. Germany.
  17. Axel Borst. MPI. Germany.
  18. Gerard Borst. Erasmus MC Rotterdam. Netherlands.
  19. Michael Brecht. BCCN.Germany.
  20. Nils Brose. MPI. Germany.
  21. Jo Bury. VIB. Belgium.
  22. Matteo Carandini. UCL. UK.
  23. Alan Carleton. University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  24. Pico Caroni. FMI. Switzerland. 
  25. Frederic Chavane. CNRS Marseille. France.
  26. Leonardo Chelazzi. University of Verona. Italy.
  27. Eugenia Chiappe. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  28. Albert Compte. IDIBAPS Barcelona. Spain.
  29. Rui Costa. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  30. Peter Dayan. University College of London. UK.
  31. Alexandre Dayer. University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  32. Gonzalo de Polavieja. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  33. Chris de Zeeuw. Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. Netherlands.
  34. Sophie Deneve. ENS. France.
  35. Winfried Denk. MPIMR Heidelberg. Germany.
  36. Mathew Diamond. SISSA. Italy.
  37. David DiGregorio. Institut Pasteur. France.
  38. Ray Dolan. UCL. UK. 
  39. Rodney Douglas. ETH. Switzerland.
  40. Andreas Draguhn. University of Heidelberg. Germany.
  41. Jean Rene Duhamel. ISC Lyon. France
  42. Thomas Euler. University of Tubingen. Germany.
  43. Karl Farrow. NERF. Belgium.
  44. Julia Fischer. Leibniz Institut fur Primatentforschung. Germany.
  45. Jozsef Fiser. CEU. Hungary.
  46. Tamar Flash. Weizmann Institute. Israel.
  47. Eckhard Friauf. University of Kaiserslautern. Germany.
  48. Rainer Friedrich. FMI. Switzerland.
  49. Pascal Fries. ESI and MPI. Germany.
  50. Chris Frith. UCL. London.
  51. Vittorio Gallese. University of Parma. Italy.
  52. Theo Geisel. MPI. Germany.
  53. Martin Giese. University of Tübingen. Germany.
  54. David Golomb, Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
  55. Lyle Graham. CNRS, U Paris Descartes. France.
  56. Boris Gutkin. ENS. France.
  57. Helmut Haas. University of Dusseldorf. Germany.
  58. Sebastian Haesler. NERF. Belgium.
  59. Richard Hahnloser. ETH. Switzerland.
  60. David Hansel. University of Paris. France.
  61. Riitta Hari. Aalto University. Finland.
  62. Ken Harris. UCL. UK.
  63. Michael Hausser. UCL. UK.
  64. Fritjof Helmchen. University of Zurich. Switzerland.
  65. Moritz Helmstaedter. MPI. Germany.
  66. Matthias Hennig. University of Edinburgh. UK.
  67. Sonja Hofer. University of Basel. Switzerland.
  68. Klaus-Peter Hoffmann. Ruhr University Bochum. Germany.
  69. Daniel Huber. University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  70. Denis Jabaudon. University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  71. Reinhard Jahn. MPIMR. Germany.
  72. Peter Janssen. KU Leuven. Belgium.
  73. Sebastian Jessberger. University of Zurich. Switzerland.
  74. Adam Kampff. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  75. Jason Kerr. Caesar. Germany.
  76. Jozsef Kiss. University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  77. Fabian Kloosterman. NERF. Belgium.
  78. Etienne Koechlin. ENS. France.
  79. Arvind Kumar. University of Freiburg. Germany.
  80. Peter Latham. UCL. UK.
  81. Gilles Laurent. MPI Frankfurt. Germany.
  82. Mate Lengyel. Cambridge University. UK.
  83. Juan Lerma Gomez. Instituto de Neurociencias Alicante. Spain.
  84. Susana Lima. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  85. Nikos Logothetis. MPI Tübingen. Germany.
  86. Matthieu Louis. CRG. Spain.
  87. Heiko Luhmann. University Medical Center Mainz. Germany.
  88. Giuseppe Luppino. University of Parma. Italy.
  89. Andreas Luthi. FMI. Switzerland.
  90. Christian Machens. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  91. Zachary Mainen. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  92. Rafael Malach. Weizmann Institute. Israel.
  93. Miguel Maravall. Instituto de Neurociencias Alicante. Spain.
  94. Troy Margrie. NIMR. UK.
  95. Kevan Martin. ETH. Switzerland.
  96. Guillaume Masson. CNRS Marseille. France.
  97. Gero Miesenboeck. Oxford. UK.
  98. Marta Moita. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  99. Edvard Moser. Kavli Institute. Norway.
  100. May-Britt Moser. Kavli Institute. Norway.
  101. Tom Mrsic-Flogel. University of Basel. Switzerland.
  102. Andreas Neef. MPIMR. Germany.
  103. Israel Nelken. Hebrew University. Israel.
  104. Stephan Neuhauss. University of Zurich. Switzerland.
  105. Andreas Nieder. University of Tübingen. Germany.
  106. Hendrikje Nienborg. University of Tübingen. Germany.
  107. Zoltan Nusser. Institute of Experimental Medicine. Hungary.
  108. Guy Orban. University of Parma. Italy.
  109. Christophe Pallier, CNRS-INSERM, Paris-Saclay, France
  110. Stefano Panzeri. Italian Institute of Technology. Italy.
  111. Rony Paz. Weizmann Institute. Israel.
  112. Barak Pearlmutter. NUI Maynooth. Ireland.
  113. Mathias Pessiglione. ICM. France.
  114. Chris Petkov. Newcastle University. UK.
  115. Leopoldo Petreanu. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  116. Alexandre Pouget. University of Geneva. Switzerland.
  117. Martin Raff. UCL. UK.
  118. Alfonso Renart. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  119. Giacomo Rizzolatti. Università di Parma. Italy.
  120. David Robbe. INMED. France.
  121. Botond Roska. FMI. Switzerland.
  122. Stefan Rotter. University of Freiburg. Germany.
  123. Nava Rubin. ICREA and DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Spain.
  124. Simon Rumpel. IMP. Austria.
  125. Matthew Rushworth. University of Oxford. UK.
  126. Stefan Schaal. MPI. Germany.
  127. Andreas Schaefer. NIMR UCL. UK
  128. Peter Scheiffele. University of Basel. Switzerland.
  129. Elad Schneidman. Weizmann Institute. Israel.
  130. Jan Schnupp. University of Oxford. UK.
  131. Bernhard Scholkopf. MPI Tübingen. Germany.
  132. Erin Schuman. MPI Frankfurt. Germany.
  133. Martin Schwab. University of Zurich. Switzerland.
  134. Cornelius Schwarz. University of Tuebingen. Germany.
  135. Sophie Schwartz.University of Geneva.Switzerland.
  136. Peggy Series. University of Edinburgh. UK.
  137. Noam Shemesh. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal.
  138. Oren Shriki. Ben Gurion University. Israel.
  139. Angus Silver. UCL. UK.
  140. Angela Sirigu. ISC Lyon. France.
  141. Haim Sompolinsky. Hebrew University. Israel. 
  142. Walter Stuhmer. MPI. Germany.
  143. German Sumbre. ENS, France.
  144. Alexandre Thiele. Newcastle University. UK.
  145. Peter Thier. University of Tübingen. Germany.
  146. Simon Thorpe. CNRS Toulouse. France.
  147. Alessandro Treves. SISSA. Italy.
  148. Nachum Ulanovsky. Weizmann Institute. Israel.
  149. Wim Vanduffel. KU Leuven. Belgium.
  150. Rufin Vogels. KU Leuven. Belgium.
  151. Patrik Vuilleumier. University of Geneva. Switzerland. 
  152. Felix Wichmann. University of Tuebingen. Germany.
  153. David Willshaw. University of Edinburgh.UK.
  154. Fred Wolf. MPI Göttingen. Germany. 
  155. Daniel Wolpert. Cambridge University. UK.
  156. Emre Yaksi. NERF. Belgium.

The open letter was sent to the EC at 07/07/2014, 00:00. All signatures listed above were received prior to that time and so were included in the letter. The signatures below are listed by time of registration. 

  1. Hugues Berry. INRIA. France
  2. Aldo Faisal. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  3. Simon Schultz. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  4. Sofie Valk. MPI. Germany
  5. Nick Franks. Imperial College. United Kingdom
  6. Alex Gomez-Marin. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  7. Michael Orger. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  8. Jean-Marc Fritschy. University of Zurich. Switzerland
  9. Daniele Marinazzo. University of Gent. Belgium
  10. Cyrille Rossant. UCL. United Kingdom
  11. Jon Simons. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  12. Srdjan Ostojic. ENS Paris. France
  13. Wouter De Baene. Ghent University. Belgium
  14. Maria Luisa Vasconcelos. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  15. Paul Chadderton. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  16. Bernd Sutor. University of Munich. Germany
  17. Carlos Ribeiro. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  18. Konrad Kording. Northwestern University. United States
  19. Jochen Staiger. University Medicine Goettinge. Germany
  20. Jan Zimmermann. Maastricht University. Netherlands
  21. Martina Wicklein. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  22. John van Opstal. Radboud University Nijmegen. Netherlands
  23. Marc van Wanrooij. Radboud University Nijmegen. Netherlands
  24. Tomas Ros. University of Geneva. Switzerland
  25. Pierre-Alexandre Klein. Université catholique de Louvain. Belgium
  26. Stefano Ferraina. Sapienza University . Italy
  27. Robert Dickinson. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  28. Davide Zoccolan. SISSA. Italy
  29. Georg Keller. Friedrich Miescher Institute. Switzerland
  30. David Poeppel. Max-Planck-Institute, NYU. Germany
  31. Claudio Luzzatti. Università di Milano-Bicocca. Italy
  32. Natalie Sebanz. Central European University. Hungary
  33. Federica Bianca Rosselli. SISSA. Italy
  34. George Dimitriadis. Radboud University. Netherlands
  35. Guenther Knoblich. Central European University. Hungary
  36. Douglas Steele. University of Dundee. United Kingdom
  37. Giorgio Gilestro. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  38. Sina Tafazoli. SISSA. Italy
  39. Mark Humphries. University of Manchester. United Kingdom
  40. Rainer Engelken. MPI DS. Germany
  41. Roger Carpenter. University of Cambridge, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. United Kingdom
  42. Ahmed El Hady. Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Germany
  43. Richard van Wezel. Radboud University Nijmegen. Netherlands
  44. Stefan Treue. German Primate Center. Germany
  45. Ivan Raikov. Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Japan
  46. Carl van Vreeswijk. CNRS. France
  47. Dirk Kamin. MPI. Germany
  48. Job van den Hurk. KU Leuven. Belgium
  49. Christian Schnell. Cardiff University. United Kingdom
  50. Yves Trotter. CNRS. France
  51. Arnaud Delorme. CNRS. France
  52. Megan Carey. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  53. Joseph Paton. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  54. Benoît Girard. CNRS & UPMC. France
  55. Egemen Konu. University of Nottingham. United Kingdom
  56. Ronald Garduno. University of New Mexico. United States
  57. Detlev Schild. Univ Göttingen. Germany
  58. Henry Kennedy. INSERM. France
  59. Umberto Castiello. University of Padova. Italy
  60. Miguel Coelho. Movimento ao Serviço da Vida. Portugal
  61. Raul Gainetdinov. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. Italy
  62. Gagan Sidhu. N/A. Canada
  63. Loren Looger. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus. United States
  64. Marco Guenza. Università degli Studi di Torino. Italy
  65. Hilary King. Retired ENAIP. United Kingdom
  66. Thomas Kreuz. CNR. Italy
  67. David Attwell. UCL. United Kingdom
  68. Anna Kuppuswamy. UCL. United Kingdom
  69. Chiara Begliomini. Dept. General Psychology, University of Padova. Italy
  70. Vahid Esmaeili. SISSA. Italy
  71. Alessandro Di Filippo. SISSA. Italy
  72. Charles Capaday. Paris V. France
  73. Laszlo Negyessy. Wigner RCP, Hungarian Academy of Sciences . Hungary
  74. Timothy O'Leary. Brandeis University. United States
  75. Sofia Soares. Champalimaud Centre for the Unkown. Portugal
  76. Ana Vasconcelos. HSM-CHLN. Portugal
  77. Rosa Garcia-Verdugo. MPI. Germany
  78. Irini Skaliora. Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. Greece
  79. Gil Costa. Champalimaud Foundation. Portugal
  80. Francois Genoud. University of Vienna. Austria
  81. Aman Saleem. UCL. United Kingdom
  82. Pascal Belin. Aix-Marseille University. France
  83. Sara A Solla. Northwestern University. United States
  84. Catherine Tallon-Baudry. Ecole Normale Supérieure. France
  85. Catarina Seabra. University of Porto. Portugal
  86. Jens Kremkow. State University of New York College of Optometry . United States
  87. Hans-Peter Frey. Columbia University. United States
  88. Michael Gutnick. The Hebrew University. Israel
  89. Andras Lakatos. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  90. Michael P. I. Becker. University of Muenster. Germany
  91. Ulrich Leischner. Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technologies. Germany
  92. Dante Chialvo. CONICET. Argentina
  93. Shervin Safavi. MPI Tübingen. Germany
  94. Catarina Carona. I3S. Portugal
  95. Bence Ölveczky. Harvard University. United States
  96. Andrew Straw. IMP. Austria
  97. Lyle Long. Penn State Univ.. United States
  98. Simion Pruna. Institute "Prof. N. Paulescu". Romania
  99. Tod Thiele. Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. Germany
  100. Tomas Hromadka. Slovak Academy of Sciences. Slovakia
  101. Stephen Eglen. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  102. Tansu Celikel. Radboud University Nijmegan. Netherlands
  103. Curtis Moshay. SynergyED™.org. United States
  104. Igor Kagan. German Primate Center. Germany
  105. Daniel Bendor. UCL. United Kingdom
  106. Richard Born. Harvard Medical School. United States
  107. Gasper Tkacik. IST Austria. Austria
  108. Maneesh Sahani. UCL. United Kingdom
  109. Vikram Chib. Johns Hopkins University. United States
  110. Rava Azeredo da Silveira. Ecole Normale Supérieure. France
  111. Hakwan Lau. UCLA. United States
  112. Taha Yasseri. University of Oxford. United Kingdom
  113. David Brito. University of Coimbra. Portugal
  114. Duda Kvitsiani. Cold Spring Harbor Labs. United States
  115. Zoltan Toroczkai. University of Notre Dame. United States
  116. Laurence Hunt. UCL. United Kingdom
  117. Emmanuel Procyk. CNRS. France
  118. John Huguenard. Stanford University. United States
  119. Stephen Coombes. University of Nottingham. United Kingdom
  120. Leon Lagnado. University of Sussex. United Kingdom
  121. Claudia Freire. Universidad A Coruna . Spain
  122. Duje Tadin. University of Rochester. United States
  123. Jean-Pierre Nadal. CNRS & EHESS. France
  124. Masahito Yamagata. Harvard University. United States
  125. Nathaniel Daw. New York University. United States
  126. Mir-Shahram Safari. Brain Science Institute, RIKEN. Japan
  127. Philippe Millet. University of Geneva. Switzerland
  128. Michael Bale. Instituto de Neurociencias Alicante UMH-CSIC. Spain
  129. Andreas Roepstorff. Aarhus University. Denmark
  130. André Mouraux. Université catholique de Louvain. Belgium
  131. Herc Neves. Uppsala University. Sweden
  133. Louis-Marie PLUMEL. Idiap Research Institute. Switzerland
  134. Walter Paulus. Herr. Germany
  135. Ryota Kanai. University of Sussex. United Kingdom
  136. Kanchana Pandian. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. India
  137. Hugo Cook. DePaul University. United States
  138. Boris Chagnaud. LMU Munich. Germany
  139. laurent cohen. ICM. France
  140. Roberto Livi. University of Florence. Italy
  141. Annycke xavier. in vivo brain. France
  142. Alessandro Villa. University of Lausanne. Switzerland
  143. Alessandro Torcini. Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. Italy
  144. Leszek Kaczmarek . Nencki Institute. Poland
  145. Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Spain
  146. yehezkel ben-ari. iNSERM. France
  147. Oliver Schlüter. European Neuroscience Institute. Germany
  148. Oscar Marin. King's College London. United Kingdom
  149. Bert Kappen. Radboud University. Netherlands
  150. Robert Hickman. Institute of Molecular Biology. Austria
  151. Mark Hübener. MPI. Germany
  152. Marcus Kaiser. Newcastle University. United Kingdom
  153. Giovanni Galizia. Universität Konstanz. Germany
  154. Antony Morland. University of York. United Kingdom
  155. Flor Kusnir. University of Glasgow. United Kingdom
  156. Fabian Sinz. University Tuebingen. Germany
  157. Tim Gollisch. University Medical Center Göttingen. Germany
  158. Dori Derdikman. Technion. Israel
  159. Alexander Attinger. FMI. Switzerland
  160. Alex Wade. University of York. United Kingdom
  161. Rosalina Fonseca. Gulbenkian Institute of Science. Portugal
  162. Wim Melis. University of Greenwich. United Kingdom
  163. Thomas Wiecki. Brown University. Germany
  164. Brent Doiron. University of Pittsburgh. United States
  165. Bernd Porr. University of Glasgow. United Kingdom
  166. Dave Langers. University of Nottingham. United Kingdom
  167. Marco Manca. SCImPULSE Foundation. Switzerland
  168. Rob Campbell. University of Basel. Switzerland
  169. vincent torre. SISSA. Italy
  170. Stijn Michielse. Maastricht University. Netherlands
  171. maysam oladazimi. center of integrative neuroscience . Germany
  172. Daniele Zullino. University Geneva. Switzerland
  173. Joost Dessing. Queen's University Belfast. United Kingdom
  174. Izumi Fukunaga. NIMR. United Kingdom
  175. Theofanis Panagiotaropoulos. Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. Germany
  176. Boris B. Quednow. University of Zurich. Switzerland
  177. Peter Smittenaar. UCL. United Kingdom
  178. Robert van Beers. VU University Amsterdam. Netherlands
  179. Ho Ko. University College London, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong
  180. Miloud Hadj Achour. IUSTI. France
  181. Molly Crockett. University of Oxford. United Kingdom
  182. Evelyne Sernagor. Newcastle university. United Kingdom
  183. Bertram Gerber. Leibniz Institute of Neurobiology. Germany
  184. Claire Wyart. Inserm/ICM. France
  185. Alia Benali. University of Tuebingen. Germany.. Germany
  186. Jaime de la Rocha. IDIBAPS. Spain
  187. Stephen Brickley. Imperial College London. United Kingdom
  188. Eva BONDA. NeuroAIsthesis. France
  189. Marc Toussaint. University of Stuttgart. Germany
  190. Emilio Palomares. ICIQ. Spain
  191. Yael Niv. Princeton university. United States
  192. David Brown. UCL. United Kingdom
  193. Maria-Magdolna Ercsey-Ravasz. Babes-Bolyai University. Romania
  194. Diogo Trigo. King's College London. United Kingdom
  195. Dennis Goldschmidt. ETH/University of Zurich. Switzerland
  196. Alexander Ecker. University of Tübingen. Germany
  197. Rosario Sanchez Pernaute. Inbiomed Foundation. Spain
  198. Kenneth Knoblauch. Inserm U846, Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute. France
  199. Michael Nitsche. University Medical Center, Goettingen. Germany
  200. Christian Plewnia. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen. Germany
  201. Garikoitz Azkona. University of Barcelona. Spain
  202. Maria-Rosario Luquin. University of Navarra . Spain
  203. David Omer. MPI. Germany
  204. Simon Baumann. Newcastle University. United Kingdom
  205. Hugo van den Berg. Warwick University. United Kingdom
  206. Matt Smear. University of Oregon. United States
  207. Benoit Scherrer. Harvard Medical School. United States
  208. Lionel Naccache. ICM. France
  209. Claudia Feierstein. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  210. Raiko Stephan. FMI. Switzerland
  211. Caitlin Johnston. Arizona State University. United States
  212. William Harris. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  213. Torsten Fregin. AWI. Germany
  214. Matthias Kaschube. FIAS. Germany
  215. Peter beim Graben. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Germany
  216. Wolfger von der Behrens. University and ETH Zurich. Switzerland
  217. Marco Pelizzone. University of Geneva. Switzerland
  218. Peter Roberts. University of Bristol. United Kingdom
  219. Nouchine Hadjikhani. Harvard University. United States
  220. Marco Lanzilotto. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Italy
  221. Regina Dahlhaus. FAU. Germany
  222. Leon Fonville. King's College London. United Kingdom
  223. Bernard Scott. Center for Sociocybernetics Research,Bonn. United Kingdom
  224. Michele Guerra. University of Parma. Italy
  225. Peter Bremen. Radboud University. Netherlands
  226. Petko Kiriazov. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Bulgaria
  227. Serafim Rodrigues. Plymouth University. United Kingdom
  228. Menno Witter. Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Norway
  229. Nicolas canil. maison de Lauberiviere. Canada
  230. Carsten Mehring. University of Freiburg. Germany
  231. Stefan Kiebel. TU Dresden. Germany
  232. John Wood. UCL. United Kingdom
  233. Cyril Monier. CNRS. France
  234. Marc Spehr. RWTH Aachen University. Germany
  235. Timothy Verstynen. Carnegie Mellon University. United States
  236. Frank Kirchhoff. University of Saarland. Germany
  237. Georg Nagel. Univ. Wuerzburg. Germany
  238. Alessandra Lintas. University of Lausanne. Switzerland
  239. Gaia Novarino. IST Austria. Austria
  240. Dongsung Huh. Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL. United Kingdom
  241. Emmanuel Klinger. MPI. Germany
  242. Peter Kirsch. University of Heidelberg. Germany
  243. Jan Benda. University Tuebingen. Germany
  244. Klaas Enno Stephan. University of Zurich & ETH Zurich. Switzerland
  245. Luis Miguel Martinez. Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante. Spain
  246. Manuel Berning. MPI. Germany
  247. teresa gimenez barbat. tercera cultura. Spain
  248. Daniela Martínez de la Mora. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Spain
  249. Judit Makara. IEM. Hungary
  250. Ludovic Righetti. MPI. Germany
  251. Vishal Kapoor. MPI Tübingen. Germany.. Germany
  252. Shawn Mikula. MPI. Germany
  253. naomi middelmann. private citizen. Switzerland
  254. Ines de Vega. Ludwig Maximilian University Munich. Germany
  255. Maria José Rodrigo. University of La laguna. Spain
  256. Julian Anslinger. Freelancer. Austria
  257. Patrick Becker. Humboldt-University, Berlin. Germany
  258. Steven Rose. Open University. United Kingdom
  259. Manuel de Vega. University of La Laguna. Spain
  260. Boris Kotchoubey. University of Tübingen. Germany
  261. Manuela Piazza. Inserm. France
  262. Ahmed Hisham Gardoh. Radboud university Nijmegen. Netherlands
  263. Romain Franconville. Janelia Farm Research Campus (HHMI). United States
  264. Jonny Kohl. Harvard University. United States
  265. Javier Diaz-Nido. Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Spain
  266. Robert Hindges. Kings College London. United Kingdom
  267. Urs Köster. UC Berkeley. United States
  268. Antonio Rangel. Caltech. United States
  269. Heliodoro Ruiperez. Retired. Spain
  270. José M. Delgado-García. Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Spain
  271. Helga Müller. Stadtschulrat für Wien. Austria
  272. Wolfram Schultz. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  273. Robert Bauer. Translational Neurosurgery. Germany
  274. Friedrich Johenning. Charité University Medicine Berlin. Germany
  275. Manuel Pastor. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Spain
  276. Christine Tardif. Max-Planck-Institute for Human Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Germany
  277. Albert Costa. ICREA- Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Spain
  278. Núria Sebastián Gallés. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Spain
  279. Jonas Obleser. Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Germany
  280. Philipp Kanske. Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Germany
  281. Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz. INSERM. France
  282. Olivier Coulon. CNRS. France
  283. Ernst Fehr. University of Zurich. Switzerland
  284. Christopher Steele. Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Germany
  285. Dierk Reiff. University Freiburg. Germany
  286. Hilke Plassmann. ENS / INSEAD. France
  287. Anton Sirota. Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München. Germany
  288. Alon Korngreen. Bar-Ilan University. Israel
  289. Izhar Bar-Gad. Bar-Ilan University. Israel
  290. dieter swandulla. university of bonn. Germany
  291. Ramon Carbo-Dorca. University of Girona. Spain
  292. Agnès Gruart. Pablo de Olavide University. Spain
  293. Antoni Valero-Cabré. CNRS UMR 7225 - ICM. France
  294. Aishwarya Nair. University of Osnabruck. Germany
  295. Lars Nyberg. Umeå University. Sweden
  296. Tobias Rose. Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology. Germany
  297. Tor Syvertsen. Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Norway
  298. Enrique Sánchez González. Ciber-Seguridad GITS Informática - España. Spain
  299. Joachim Funke. Departm. of Psychology, Heidelberg University. Germany
  300. Jonathan Bradley. INSERM. France
  301. Ricardo Cruz. swissvirtual. Switzerland
  302. Salvatore Fara. Bernstein Center Freiburg. Germany
  303. thierry Pozzo. INSERM. France
  304. Carlos Moreno García. Farmacia de Jauja. Spain
  305. Ursula Pia Jauch. University of Zurich. Switzerland
  306. Veronica Egger. Regensburg University. Germany
  307. Björn Friedrich. Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology. Germany
  308. Sarah Jessen. MPI CBS. Germany
  309. Michael Hörner. European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen. Germany
  310. Laurent Lescaudron . Universty of Nantes. France
  311. Giacomo Indiveri. University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Switzerland
  312. Mario Gomes-Pereira. INSERM. France
  313. Tonia Rihs. University of Geneva. Switzerland
  314. Bruno Sevennec. CNRS. France
  315. Julien Lefèvre. Aix-Marseille Université. France
  316. Matthew Nelson. INSERM. France
  317. Eberhard von Goldammer. FH Dortmund. Germany
  318. Constanze Lenschow. Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience. Germany
  319. Jyi Han Seng. UCSI University. Malaysia
  320. Roger Traub. IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. United States
  321. Marc Fisher. Tulane University. United States
  322. Fabio Meneghini. SISSA. Italy
  323. Dilek DEMIR. TU Wien . Austria
  324. Jacob Duijnhouwer. Radboud University Nijmegen. United States
  325. Pavel Itskov. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  326. Jacques Bourg. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  327. Carolina Doran. Champalimaud Foundation & University of Bristol. Portugal
  328. Rosa Cossart. INSERM. France
  329. Maria Vicente. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  330. Houman Safaai. Italian Institute of Technology. Italy
  331. Kobi Rosenblum. University of Haifa. Israel
  332. andrea burgalossi. University of Tübingen. Germany
  333. Francisco Romero. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Spain
  334. Roberto Medina. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  335. michel dulcire. CIRAD. France
  336. Uwe Straehle. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology . Germany
  337. Ignacio Ozcariz. Recol. Spain
  338. Vasco Galhardo. Fac Medicina - Universidade do Porto. Portugal
  339. Charles Gray. Montana State University. United States
  340. Tiago Monteiro. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  341. Jozsef Somogyi. retired. Hungary
  342. Heinrich Betz. Max-Planck Institute. Germany
  343. Jean-Pierre Mothet. CNRS. France
  344. Sara Matias. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  345. Andrew Latto. Latto. United States
  346. Christian H. Uhlig. Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg. Germany
  347. Sebastian Schwaab. FH Köln. Germany
  348. Stephan Bohlhalter. University of Bern. Switzerland
  349. Orly Reiner. Weizmann Institute of Science. Israel
  350. Julien Colomb. Hu berlin. Germany
  351. Manuel Riquelme. UTHSCSA. United States
  352. Steffen Kandler. NERF. Belgium
  353. Nader Nikbakht. SISSA. Italy
  354. Stacy Dalton. JHU. United States
  355. Gabriel McKinsey. University of California San Francisco. United States
  356. José Ribas Fernandes. University of Victoria. Canada
  357. Stephen Jackson. Univerity of Nottinghm. United Kingdom
  358. Bjoern Andres. MPI Informatics. Germany
  359. Matthias Munk. MPI. Germany
  360. Vinzenz Schönfelder. SISSA | Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati. Italy
  361. Clara Ferreira. Oxford University. United Kingdom
  362. Detlef Wegener. University of Bremen. Germany
  363. Yves Moreau. University of Leuven. Belgium
  364. Patrick Barland. Spain
  365. Miriam Klein-Flügge. UCL. United Kingdom
  366. Zoltan Nadasdy. Eotvos Lorand University, NeuroTexas Institute, University of Texas. Hungary
  367. Peter Bossaerts. University of Melbourne. Australia
  368. Eduardo Dias-Ferreira. The Rockefeller University. United States
  369. Linas Vilciauskas. New York University. United States
  370. Merlin Lange. RIKEN. Japan
  371. Gabriel Griesser. CIFOM-ET. Switzerland
  372. Raphael Massarelli. University of Lyon. France
  373. Wolfram Kawohl. University of Zurich. Switzerland
  374. Arthur Leblois. CNRS. France
  375. Béchir Jarraya. NeuroSpin. France
  376. Günter Windau. Radboud University. Netherlands
  377. Patrick Ruther. University of Freiburg. Germany
  378. Carlos Gómez-Ariza. Universidad de Jaen. Spain
  379. Paul Dean. Univeristy of Sheffield. United Kingdom
  380. Boris Velichkovsky. Technical University Dresden, TUD. Germany
  381. Rodrigo Abreu. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal. Portugal
  382. Brigitte Chamak. U. Paris Descartes. France
  383. Eric Everschor. Psychotherapeutische Praxis. Germany
  384. Magor Lorincz. University of Szeged. Hungary
  385. Bassam Atallah. Fundacao Champalimaud. Portugal
  386. Steffen Scholpp. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Germany
  387. Bahadir Kasap. Radboud University Nijmegen. Netherlands
  388. Floris de Lange. Radboud University Nijmegen. Netherlands
  389. Peter Redgrave. University of Sheffield. United Kingdom
  390. Luis Carretie. Laboratorio de Neurociencia cognitiva y afectiva, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Spain
  391. Hans Scherberger. University of Göttingen. Germany
  392. Stephan van Gils. University of Twwente. Netherlands
  393. Simone Lackner. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  394. Tony Prescott. University of Sheffield. United Kingdom
  395. Herbert Jaeger. Jacobs University Bremen. Germany
  396. Luuk van de Rijt. Radboudumc, biophysics. Netherlands
  397. Erwan Bezard. Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases. France
  398. Yael Amitai. Ben-Gurion University. Israel
  399. Wim Crusio. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. France
  400. Xurxo Mariño. University of A Coruña. Spain
  401. Ilan Lampl. Weizmann Institut. Israel
  402. Jean Petitot. CAMS-EHESS. France
  403. Krishna Kishore. University of Michigan. United States
  404. Martial Van der Linden. University of Geneva. Switzerland
  405. Vincent Croset. University of Oxford. United Kingdom
  406. Andrew Matus. FMI. Switzerland
  407. Benedetto De Martino. Cambridge University . United Kingdom
  408. Ana Amaral. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  409. Inna Slutsky. Tel Aviv University. Israel
  410. Madalena Fonseca. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  411. John Anderson. University of Toronto. Canada
  412. Yuri Alexandrov. Institute of psychology RAS. Russia
  413. Lukasz Kaczmarek. Adam Mickiewicz University. Poland
  414. Marco Schieppati. University of Pavia. Italy
  415. Mike Hemberger. Max Planck Insitute for Brain Research. Germany
  416. Stéphane Viollet. CNRS - Aix Marseile University. France
  417. Franck RUFFIER. CNRS, Aix-Marseille University. France
  418. Michel Imbert. Ecole normale supérieure. France
  419. Jonathan Roiser. UCL. United Kingdom
  420. David Higgins. Ecole Normale Superieure. France
  421. Antonio Javier Pons Rivero. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Spain
  422. Ronald Welz. WDS Technologies SA. Switzerland
  423. Pietro Vertechi. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. Portugal
  424. Emma Cahill. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  425. Tatiana Chernigovskaya. St. Petersburg State University. Russia
  426. Elena Amenedo. University of Santiago de Compostela. Spain
  427. David Holcman. Ecole Normale Superieure. France
  428. Quentin Huys. University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Switzerland
  429. ronald oosting. utrecht university. Netherlands
  430. Gabriel Madirolas. Instituto Cajal, CSIC. Spain
  431. Dani Martí. ENS, INSERM. France
  432. Wim Fias. Ghent University. Belgium
  433. Joana Nogueira. Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown . Portugal
  434. Valentin Wyart. Inserm / Ecole Normale Superieure. France
  435. Michael Suchocki. individual. Canada
  436. Mathieu Desroches. Inria. France
  437. Etienne Herzog. CNRS. France
  438. Hedi Young. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. Portugal
  439. Nachiket Kashikar. University of Sussex. United Kingdom
  440. Gordon Pipa. University Osnabrück. Germany
  441. Kae Nakamura. Kansai Medical University. Japan
  442. Javier Cudeiro. University of A Coruña. Spain
  443. Paula Maria Fuertes. Psychology. Spain
  444. Fabio Simoes de Souza. Institute of Molecular Medicine. Portugal
  445. Hazem Toutounji. Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück. Germany
  446. Kenneth Miller. Columbia University. United States
  447. Ben Seymour. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom
  448. Renee Bleau. University of Glasgow. United Kingdom
  449. Barry Dickson. HHMI. United States
  450. Wolfgang Robinig. University of Graz. Austria
  451. Foteini Vlachou. Instituto de História da Arte, Faculdade das Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Portugal
  452. JP hugnot. inserm. France
  453. David Gall. Université Libre de Bruxelles. Belgium
  454. Herwig Baier. Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. Germany


Ansisoitunempia neurofysilogeja tässä ei ole mukana, koska heillä ei ole kukaan koskaan kuvitellutkaan olevan mitään tekmistä euronerohörhöilyn kanssa.

Projektin esittelyä löytyy täätltä:


(MInä luulin ennen tuota "Blue Brainia(kin)" vitsiksi...)

The $1.3B Quest to Build a Supercomputer Replica of a Human Brain

Even by the standards of the TED conference,Henry Markram’s 2009 TEDGlobal talk was a mind-bender. He took the stage of the Oxford Playhouse, clad in the requisite dress shirt and blue jeans,and announced a plan that - if it panned out - would deliver a fully sentient hologram within a decade.He dedicated himself to wiping out all men- tal disorders and creating a self-aware artificial intelligence. And the South African-born neuroscientist pronounced that he would accomplish all this through an insane-ly ambitious attempt to build a complete model of a human brain - from synapses to hemispheres - and simulate it on a supercomputer. Markram was proposing a project that has bedeviled AI researchers for decades, that most had presumed was impossible. He wanted to build a working mind from the ground up.

In the four years since Markram’s speech,he hasn’t backed off a nanometer. The self-assured scientist claims that the only thing preventing scientists from understanding the human brain in its entirety - from the molecular level all the way to the mystery of consciousness - is a lack of ambition. If only neuroscience would follow his lead, he insists, his Human Brain Project could simulate the functions of all 86 billion neurons in the human brain,and the 100 trillion connections that link them.And once that’s done, once you’ve built a plug-and-play brain, anything is possible. You could take it apart to figure out the causes of brain diseases. You could rig it to robotics and deve-lop a whole new range of intelligent technologies. You could strap on a pair of virtual reality glasses and experience a brain other than your own.

The way Markram sees it,technology has finally caught up with the dream of AI: Com- puters are finally growing sophisticated enough to tackle the massive data problem that is the human brain. But not everyone is so optimistic. “There are too many things we don’t yet know,” says Caltech professor Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at one of neuroscience’s biggest data producers, the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. “The roundworm has exactly 302 neurons, and we still have no frigging idea how this animal works". Yet over the past couple of decades,Markram’s sheer persis-tence has garnered the respect of people like Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Torsten Wiesel and Sun Microsystems cofounder Andy Bechtolsheim. He has impressed leading figures in biology, neuroscience, and computing, who believe his initiative is important even if they consider some of his ultimate goals unrealistic.

Markram has earned that support on the strength of his work at the Swiss Federal In-stitute of Technology in Lausanne, where he and a group of 15 postdocs have been taking a first stab at realizing his grand vision - simulating the behavior of a million-neuron portion of the rat neocortex. They’ve broken new ground on everything from the expression of individual rat genes to the organizing principles of the animal’s brain. And the team has not only published some of that data in peer-reviewed jour-nals but also integrated it into a cohesive model so it can be simulated on an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer.

The big question is whether these methods can scale. There’s no guarantee that Markram will be able to build out the rest of the rat brain, let alone the vastly more complex human brain. And if he can, nobody knows whether even the most faithful model will behave like a real brain - that if you build it,it will think.For all his bravado Markram can’t answer that question.“But the only way you can find out is by building it,” he says, “and just building a brain is an incredible biological discovery process.”

This is too big a job for just one lab, so Markram envisions an estimated 6,000 re-searchers around the world funneling data into his model. His role will be that of pro-phet,the sort of futurist who presents worthy goals too speculative for most scientists to countenance and then backs them up with a master plan that makes the nearly impossible appear perfectly plausible.Neuroscientists can spend a whole career on a single cell or molecule.Markram will grant them the opportunity and encouragement to band together and pursue the big questions.

And now Markram has funding almost as outsized as his ideas.On January 28, 2013 the European Commission - the governing body of the European Union - awarded him 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion). For decades, euroscientists and computer scientists have debated whether a computer brain could ever be endowed with the intelligence of a human.It’s not a hypothetical debate anymore. Markram is building it. Will he replicate consciousness? The EU has bet $1.3 billion on it.

Ancient Egyptian surgeons believed that the brain was the “marrow of the skull” (in the graphic wording of a 3,500-year-old papyrus). About 1,500 years later, Aristotle decreed that the brain was a radiator to cool the heart’s “heat and seething.” While neuroscience has come a long way since then, the amount that we know about the brain is still minuscule compared to what we don’t know.

Over the past century, brain research has made tremendous strides, but it’s all ato- mized and highly specific - there’s still no unified theory that explains the whole. We know that the brain is electric, an intricately connected network, and that electrical signals are modulated by chemicals. In sufficient quantity, certain combinations of chemicals (called neurotransmitters) cause a neuron to fire an electrical signal down a long pathway called an axon. At the end of the axon is a synapse, a meeting point with another neuron. The electrical spike causes neurotransmitters to be released at the synapse, where they attach to receptors in the neighboring neuron, altering its voltage by opening or closing ion channels. At the simplest level, comparisons to a computer are helpful. The synapses are roughly equivalent to the logic gates in a cir-cuit,and axons are the wires.The combination of inputs determines an output.Memo- ries are stored by altering the wiring. Behavior is correlated with the pattern of firing.

Yet when scientists study these systems more closely, such reductionism looks near-ly as rudimentary as the Egyptian notions about skull marrow. There are dozens of different neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin, to name two) plus as many neu-roreceptors to receive them.There are more than 350 types of ion channel, the synap- tic plumbing that determines whether a neuron will fire. At its most fine-grained at the level of molecular biology, neuroscience attempts to describe and predict the effect of neurotransmitters one ion channel at a time. At the oppo
site end of the scale is func-tional magnetic resonance imaging, the favorite tool of behavioral neuroscience. Scans can roughly track which parts of the brain are active while watching a ball game or having an orgasm, albeit only by monitoring blood flow through the gray matter: the brain again viewed as a radiator.

Two large effort - the Allen Brain Atlas and the National Institutes of Health-funded Human Connectome Project - are working at levels in between these two extremes, attempting to get closer to that unified theory that explains the whole. The Allen Brain Atlas is mapping the correlation between specific genes and specific structures and regions in both human and mouse brains. The Human Connectome Project is using noninvasive imaging techniques that show where wires are bundled and how those bundles are connected in human brains.

To add to the brain-mapping mix,President Obama in April announced the launch of an initiative called Brain (commonly referred to as the Brain Activity Map), which he hopes Congress will make possible with a $3 billion NIH budget. (To start, Obama is pledging $100 million of his 2014 budget.) Unlike the static Human Connectome Pro-ject, the proposed Brain Activity Map would show circuits firing in real time.At present this is feasible, writes Brain Activity Map participant Ralph Greenspan, “in the little fruit fly Drosophila.”

Even scaled up to human dimensions,such a map would chart only a web of activity, leaving out much of what is known of brain function at a molecular and functional level. For Markram, the American plan is just grist for his billion-euro mill. “The Brain Activity Map and other projects are focused on generating more data", he writes. “The Human Brain Project is about data integration.” In other words, from his exalted per- spective, the NIH and President Obama are just a bunch of postdocs ready to work for him.

Markram has the tall build and tousled hair of a fashion model. Seated behind a clean desk in an office devoid of anything more personal than his white MacBook, he spends most of his days meeting with administrators, technicians, and collaborators. The office is down the street from his wet lab and halfway across campus from the Blue Gene computer facility.Markram speaks of brain slices and microchips in detail, but he is not just a scientist in the conventional sense, stooped over a lab bench like Jonas Salk. He belongs to a new breed of telegenic research executives, a sort of J. Craig Venter of the head. “I love experiments,” he says in a South African accent tweaked by more than a decade living and researching in Israel. “But I very quickly see that what I’m doing can be done far more efficiently.” Once the procedures for data collection are set, he believes, experiments can be outsourced or automated.

Understanding the brain writ large is what drives Markram. It has been his only se-rious interest since the age of 13, when his mother sent him from the Kalahari game farm where he’d spent his childhood to a boarding school outside Durban. His first year there, he stumbled across some research on schizophrenia and other mental disorders and directed his youthful energy into studying the mind. “It was just ama-zing to me that you could have a little more or less of some chemical and your whole worldview would be different,” he recalls, smiling with boyish wonder. “If you can switch a chemical and your personality changes, who are you?”

To find out,he took up psychiatry at the University of Cape Town but swiftly grew im- patient with the field.“I could see that this was not a science",he says with a wave of his hand. “I didn’t see any future in it, grouping people by symptoms and prescribing whatever drug the pharmaceutical companies said.”

So he quit medicine and joined the only Cape Town lab doing experimental neuro-science, directed by a young researcher named Rodney Douglas. Even then - 1985 - Markram had formed his ambition to understand the whole brain. But he had to start at a much more granular level. Over a one-year period Markram performed nearly a thousand experiments recording the effect of a neurotransmitter on neurons in the brain stem.

It was the beginning of his meteoric rise as an experimental neuroscientist.He got his PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science one of the leading research universities in Israel - ”it was like landing in toyland,” he remarks with a broad smile - and went on to consecutive postdocs at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda,- Maryland, and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Ger- many. “My mantra is diversity,” he says, explaining his peripatetic years. “I clone my mentors. I copy everything they do, and then I innovate on top of it.”

In 1995 he was recruited back to Weizmann as a senior scientist. In his new lab, Markram took up a technique that he’d learned from electrophysiologist Bert Sak-mann at Max Planck, for which Sakmann and physicist Erwin Neher won the 1991 Nobel Prize in Medicine. The procedure called for a researcher to access a living neuron with a “patch clamp,” really just a micron-wide pipette, to directly monitor the neuron’s electrical activity. With his exceptionally steady hands, Markram was the first researcher to patch two connected neurons simultaneously, a feat that put him in a position to see how they interacted.

By sending electrical signals between neurons and measuring their electrical res-ponses, he could test Hebb’s rule - neurons that fire together wire together - a fundamental neuroscience postulate. What Markram discovered was that the pattern of synaptic connections in a neural network is determined not only by whether neu-rons fire together but also by when they fire relative to one another. If an input spike of electrical current occurs before an output spike,the input connection is streng-thened. If the input spike comes after the output spike, the connection weakens. In other words,Markram proved that the brain is attentive to cause and effect.

Markram published his groundbreaking results in more than a half-dozen scientific papers, enough to earn him a full professorship by the age of 40.The lesson he drew from that success: He needed to set his sights much higher. “I realized that I could keep doing this for the rest of my career and I still wouldn’t really understand how the brain works,” Markram says. There were approximately 60,000 neuroscience papers published every year, only increasing the field’s fragmentation. What neuroscience needed,he decided,was an enormous collaboration,with research protocols coordi-nated so that all the data would fire together - and naturally he thought he was the one to make it happen.

His vision matched the ambition of one man who could fund it: neuroscientist Patrick Aebischer, the newly appointed president of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technolo-gy, tasked with making the campus a leader in computer science and biomedicine. In 2002 he recruited Markram, and in 2005 he bought him an IBM Blue Gene - one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

From his position in Lausanne, Markram is simultaneously doing four things. He is running a wet lab that amasses data through experiments on brain tissue. Since 2005, he has been building a small-scale model and simulation of the rat neocortex (his initial Blue Brain project).He is now the coordinator of the lavishly funded Human Brain Project, spearheading a global initiative to coordinate data-gathering across labs worldwide. On top of all that, Markram is responsible for the simulation aspects of the HBP, building a virtual human brain from all the incoming data.

Markram’s Blue Gene supercomputer is a 10-minute walk from the Blue Brain wet lab, in a whitewashed room behind a sliding glass door. This is the second multi-million-dollar supercomputer Switzerland has given him in 10 years, with eight times more memory than his first.There are four racks of processors,each enclosed in a me- tal locker about the size of a washer/dryer. The loud drone of air-conditioning serves as a constant reminder that computing has a lot to learn about efficiency from the 20-watt human brain.

The Blue Gene will simulate Markram’s brain model - the model that uses all the ex-perimental results Markram has collected over 10 years of industrial-strength science at Lausanne, as well as all of the studies he did at Weizmann. But the model isn’t just a massive database. Markram understood that it would take trillions of dollars, not billions, to experimentally model every part of the human brain. “Other people in the field were saying that we didn’t know enough to start",he says.(The Allen Brain Atlas’ Christof Koch, for one. Markram’s first mentor, Rodney Douglas, for another.) “What I realized was that you can get to the unknowns indirectly. It’s like putting together a puzzle with lots of missing pieces.If you can see the pattern, you can fill in the gaps.”

Markram calls the process predictive reverse-engineering, and he claims that it has already allowed him to anticipate crucial data that would have taken years to gene-rate in a wet lab. For example, only about 20 of the 2,970 synaptic pathways in one small part of the rat neocortex have been experimentally measured. Detecting a pat-tern,he was able to fill in parameters for the remaining 2950 pathways and to observe them working together in a simulation. Then he measured several in the wet lab to validate his reverse-engineered data. The simulation proved correct.

Markram is a man seemingly mired in contradiction. He wants to know mankind by studying the rat. He wants to industrialize experimentation and one day make lab work obsolete. He insists on exhaustive biological detail yet strives to make the most general models possible. But if you listen carefully - filtering out his relentless boas-ting - the apparent contradictions resolve into complementary strategies: Without a dependable experimental base - focused on one species to which researchers have unlimited laboratory access - detailed modeling wouldn’t be possible. And without modeling and simulation,all that knowledge about the brain would amount to an inco- herent storehouse of trivia. But with a multilevel model of the rat brain as a template, scientists might find a rule governing how neurons connect and chart only a few, on the basis of which they could fill in the remainder. “A unifying model is a powerful ac-celerator, since it helps you prioritize experiments,” he says. “I’m very pragmatic. The question is, what’s the minimum I need to know about the brain to reconstruct all of it?”

" Through it all,Markram continues to battle a chorus of serious-minded naysayers. The eminent neuroscientist Moshe Abeles of Bar-Ilan University in Israel points out that the brain “differs from one individual to another,and in some respect it also differs in each of us from day to day. Our ability to understand all the details of even one brain is practically zero. Therefore, the claim that accumulating more and more data will lead to understanding how the brain works is hopeless.”

Abeles didn’t keep his opinion to himself while Markram’s proposal was under re-view as one of six finalists (among about 120 entrants) for the billion-euro European Flag-ship Initiative grant. In the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year, he proclaimed, “the Human Brain Project is irresponsible in terms of public interest. It’s obvious the researchers won’t be able to keep their promise. So it’s robbing the public purse on one hand and sabotaging the future of science on the other.”

Around the same time,harsh criticism also came from Rodney Douglas,who moved to Lausanne’s archrival, ETH Zurich,in 1995.“We need variance in neuroscience,” he declared at a session of the Swiss Academy of Sciences in January 2012, spreading the alarm that with a billion euros Markram could achieve a monopoly on the field.

“Rodney Douglas’ resistance is a farce", Markram responds, sounding less angry than sad. “It’s envy, it’s ego. He’s at the end of his career, measuring a piece of a cir-cuit,and he still doesn’t know what it’s doing.” As if to prove Markram’s point, Douglas - who declined to be interviewed—will retire in July.

Christof Koch believes envy is responsible for most criticism of Markram. “This is not a zero-sum game", he says.“It isn’t that Henry is going to get a billion euros or neuro- science is going to get it. The money comes out of the European infra-structure. If it doesn’t go to his modeling facility, it might bail out another Greek or Italian bank.”

Though Koch remains skeptical of Markram’s 10-year time frame, that didn’t keep him from spending three days this spring in Lausanne,coordinating their respective research programs. “I like his vision,” Koch says. “The guy has cojones.” The distin-guished University of Manchester computer engineer Steve Furber, inventor of the ARM processor, is even more fully won over. “There aren’t any aspects of Henry’s vision I find problematic,” he asserts. “Except perhaps his ambition, which is at the same time both terrifying and necessary.”

Markram thinks that the greatest potential achievement of his sim would be to deter-mine the causes of the approximately 600 known brain disorders. “It’s not about un-derstanding one disease,” he says. “It’s about understanding a complex system that can go wrong in 600 different ways. It’s about finding the weak points.” Rather than uncovering treatments for individual symptoms, he wants to induce diseases in silico by building explicitly damaged models, then find workarounds for the damage.

Researchers have done the same with lab animals for decades,observing their beha- vior after giving them lesions. The power of Markram’s approach is that the lesioning could be carried out endlessly in a supercomputer model and studied at any scale, from molecules to the brain as a whole.

A researcher could see the world as a schizophrenic while watching what is going on in the patient’s mind.

And the view wouldn’t just be from the outside.Neuroscientists could not only see the flow of neurotransmitters and ions but could also experience the delusions.“You want to step inside the brain", Markram says. He’ll achieve this by connecting his model brain to sensor-laden robotics and simultaneously recording what the robot is sensing and “thinking” as it explores physical environments, correlating audio-visual signals with simulated brain activity as the machine learns about the world. A neuro-scientist could then play back those perceptions as distorted by a damaged brain simulation.In an immersive 3-D environment, a researcher could see the world as a schizophrenic while watching what is going on in the schizophrenic’s mind.

In hype-driven contexts (such as his 2009 TED talk),Markram has hinted at the possi- bility that a sim embodied in a robot might become conscious. Hardwired with Mark-ram’s model and given sufficient experience of the world, the machine could actually start thinking (à la Skynet and HAL 9000). While that has gained him a following among sci-fi enthusiasts, he separates such speculations from the hard work of doing real science. When pressed, he shows a rare touch of modesty. “A simulation is not the real thing,” he says. “I mean, it’s a set of mathematical equations that are being executed to re-create a particular phenomenon.” Markram’s job, simply put, is to get those equations right.

He plans to give the EU an early working prototype of this system within just 18 months - and vows to “open up this new telescope to the scientific community” within two and a half years - though he estimates that he’ll need a supercomputer 100,000 times faster than the one he’s got to build the premium version. Ever the optimist, he believes that Moore’s law (and the European Union) will deliver him that raw power in about a decade. However, he’ll also need far more data than even his industrial-strength Blue Brain lab can collect. Shortly after arriving at Lausanne, Markram deve-loped workflows that extracted experimental results from journals, strip-mining thou-sands of neuroscience papers only to find that the data was too inconsistent to use in a model.For a while,that looked like one of his biggest hurdles.But he has since been building standardized protocols for many of the labs participating in the Human Brain Project. His timing may be just right, with the data glut expected from the Allen Brain Atlas,the Human Connectome Project,and the Brain Activity Map According to Brown University neuroscientist John Donoghue, one of the key figures in the Obama-sanc-tioned initiative, “the two projects are perfect complements. The Human Brain Project provides a means to test ideas that would emerge from Brain Activity Map data, and Brain Activity Map data would inform the models simulated in the Human Brain Project.”

One of the few people with experience simulating the entire human brain (albeit in much less detail than Markram), University of Toronto psychologist Randy McIntosh is also tentatively optimistic about Markram’s project. “Technically speaking, I think it is possible to do this,” he says. “I tend to think of the Human Brain Project in the same way one should have considered the Human Genome Project,where the thought was that once the genome was sequenced, we would solve genetic-based disease and understand the genetic basis of behavior. We are nowhere near that, but in moving toward that goal, a huge number of insights and innovations came.”

Genomics has proven that biology, like astronomy and physics, thrives on big data. In the 21st century, going big is the way of all science. The brain is due for a billion- euro enlargement.

Contributor Jonathon Keats ( is the author of Forged:

Why Fakes Are the Great Art of Our Age.

Toivotaan, että modet säilyttää tämän: tällaisilla linkeillä on tapana kadota, ja sitten on helvetinvaikea jälkikäteen metsästää HUUHAATA! (jos sellaista sattuisi ilmenemään).

Muokannut: Risto Koivula , 19.3.2014 2:14:53


Myös USAlla on olemassa oma hörhöprojetinsa, niin sanottu "Konnektomi" (Connec- tome, vrt. Genomi)  jonka tarkotsus on genomiprojektin mallin mukaan ja sen "avulla".  Todellisuudessa geenit eivät lainkaan määrää neuronien konkreettisia yktyiskohtaisia yhteyksiä: (Rita) Levi-Montacinin periaate. Siitä tarkemmin toiste: