“BigBrain” a Small Step Toward Mapping Human Mind


Imagine taking a map of a city, shredding it into 7,400 pieces, and then putting it back together. You have to align the landmarks, fix any tear or rip you’ve created in the process, and make sense of any shred you might have lost.

Now imagine doing the same to a preserved human brain. That’s what scientists at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Jülich, Germany and the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada did. It was a monumental undertaking, and one that will undoubtedly contribute to President Obama’s recently announced BRAIN Initiative, which stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. But when compared with the lofty goals of BRAIN, BigBrain, as this project is called, is just a small step down a very long and uncertain road.

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